Negotiators sorting out debt-laden Portugal’s bailout package have said agreement has been reached on the amount involved, it is now just a matter of dotting the “i“s and crossing the “t“s.
The country’s caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates was in bullish mood over the talks:
“The government’s got a good deal. This is an agreement that defends Portugal. Of course there are no financial assistance programmes that are not demanding. They don’t exist. The period we are living through demands effort and hard work. No one should doubt that. But after seeing other foreign aid programmes and after so many speculative stories published in the press my first duty is to reassure the Portuguese people.”
Portugal’s the third country in the eurozone to seek a bailout after its government collapsed and borrowing costs soared. Eighty-billion euros is the amount being talked about by the EU, the IMF and the European Central bank.
The deal is due to be approved by eurozone finance ministers later this month.