EU ministers stress common need for euro stability

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EU ministers stress common need for euro stability

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Portugal has won praise for working to put its economy on a stable footing after becoming the third euro zone nation to receive a bailout.

Despite one agency cutting it’s credit rating to junk status last week, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said he had no doubt Lisbon would turn the corner.

Portugal has a vital interest in the financial stabilisation of the euro zone as a whole, according to its finance minister Vitor Gaspar.

“From this point of view, a possibility of using more flexible rules in the management of the euro emergency loan fund would be very welcome,” he said in Brussels. “In my opinion, this approach would help the financial stability of the euro zone as a whole. So this would help Portugal’s situation.”

Portugal’s credit downgrading sparked sharp reactions among many European politicians.

France’s finance minister Francois Baroin has stressed his confidence in Portuguese resilience. And, amid fears of the euro zone crisis spreading further, his message, too, was: “we are all in this together.”

“The reinforcement of economic governance, movement towards closer convergence whether in tax, budgetary or other areas, a policy of reducing deficits which are essential objectives for Greece, Italy, Portugal and Ireland, but also for all euro zone countries, should help distance us from this budgetary pressure and should put us in a position to also have a decisive political organisation which will be one of the means of restoring market confidence in the long-term,” Baroin said.

But, for now, uncertainty reigns, and, amid plans to convene an emergency summit to discuss the crisis on Friday, the euro fell for a third straight day.