The head of the Portuguese Socialist Party, Antonio Jose Seguro, said Saturday that austerity measures have totally failed in the country and that the time has come to say enough to the "troika."

According to the party's secretary general, the "austerity policy of 'it costs whatever it costs'" enforced by the government "has been a complete failure" and the country is suffering as a result.

At a meeting in Barcelos in northern Portugal, Seguro said he will not accept more cuts in state functions - particularly in education and health care - and slammed the prediction of a further downturn in the economy made by the conservative prime minister, who expects a drop in GDP of around 2 percent.

The secretary general of the socialists said "we can't cross the line to where people's dignity is destroyed" - Portugal has an unemployment rate of around 17 percent - and added that the time has come to say "enough" to the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF, known as the "troika."

In recent speeches, Seguro has been highly critical of the demands imposed by the "troika," whose members granted Portugal a loan of 78 billion euros ($103 billion) when the Socialists were still in power.

Portugal is currently ruled by a center-right coalition made up of the Democratic Social Party, or PSD, and the Christian Democrats, or CDS-PP, which wields an absolute majority in parliament. EFE