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Germany says ready to back Portugal


Germany says ready to back Portugal


Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has signalled Berlin’s readiness to support Portugal if it can’t sell raise money by selling bonds to investor in the financial markets.

His comments, in a newspaper interview, came as it was reported the EU is increasingly concerned about Portugal and believe that Lisbon will have to ask for a bailout from the EU and International Monetary Fund by April.

Speaking to Japan’s Nikkei business daily, Schaeuble said Germany has pledged to demonstrate a sense of solidarity and it must prevent problems from spreading to Spain.

He suggested Berlin would not object to further aid for debt-laden euro-zone members provided they agreed to structural reforms such as cutting spending.

Portugal is so far managing to fund its debt but the cost of borrowing is now close to or at record highs and is becoming increasingly punitive.

The EU has discussed a rescue plan for Portugal but it is dependent on Lisbon asking for the aid and making the request to both the EU and IMF. Portugal remains adamantly opposed to asking for assistance.

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