Portugal: Portugal bailout on track
March 1, 2012
The European Union and the International Monetary Fund have recently concluded the third review of Portugal's finances under the terms of the EUR 78 billion bailout agreement, signed by the country and the institutions in May 2011. According to the EU-IMF-ECB troika, Portugal is complying with the fiscal goals stipulated in the programme and can therefore receive the next tranche of EUR 14.9 billion. The troika stated that the programme is on track but challenges remain, urging the country to step up the pace of the reforms already initiated and to clear Portugal's structural reform backlog in the network and services sectors. Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar stated that the adjustment process is going according to plan, adding that Portugal will not be asking for more time or money and reaffirming his government's commitment to meeting the terms of the programme. The minister, however, announced that the economic slump will be deeper than initially expected and that GDP will contract 3.3% this year, compared to a previous 3.0% projection.