The head of the European Commission has dismissed reports that Portugal is joining Ireland in seeking a European bailout.
Speaking in Paris, Jose Manuel Barroso was pressed on claims that a majority of euro zone countries and the European Central Bank were pushing Lisbon to accept financial aid.
“I can tell you that any reference to a plan for that country is absolutely false, completely false. It has been neither sought nor suggested. It’s completely untrue,” said the Commission President.
The Financial Times Deutschland quoted unidentified sources as saying some euro zone countries wanted Portugal to seek aid, in order to avoid a situation where Spain – Europe’s fifth largest economy – had to follow suit.
The Portuguese government has also denied the claims. Its budget aiming to cut the nation’s deficit has been passed.
The euro has fallen sharply over fears that the problems experienced by the Irish Republic could spread to other countries.