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EU denies Portugal bailout planned


EU denies Portugal bailout planned


The European Commission has said there are no discussions currently under way on an EU/International Monetary Fund bailout of Portugal.

“There is no discussion to this effect, and it is not envisaged at this stage, on such a possibility, be it for Portugal or any other member state,” Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a regular news briefing.

The Commission was responding to media reports of pressure from Germany, France and other countries for Portugal to ask for EU/IMF financial help “sooner rather than later.”

The spokesman for German Chancellor Angela Merkel also denied it was applying any pressure.

Lisbon’s costs of borrowing on the markets to service its debt have risen sharply because of concerns it could default Portugal is viewed by many economists as the peripheral euro zone country most likely to follow Ireland and Greece as it grapples to cut its debts and borrowing costs.

A Reuters poll of economists last week showed almost all expected Portugal to need a bailout.

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