Eurogroup welcomes Portugal's exit from bailout

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Eurogroup welcomes Portugal's exit from bailout

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European Finance Ministers meeting for their monthly Eurogroup get together in Brussels have welcomed Portugal’s decision to exit its three year 78 billion euro bailout.

Portugal is the second country after Ireland to exit the programme.

A source of some optimism for Eurogroup’s President, Jeroen Disselbloem who said, “they have to hold onto the trust they have from the markets and the trust requires further steps.”

Meanwhile Greece is seeking to open debt relief talks in what is being seen as further evidence that Europe’s economic crisis is receding.

Greece is expected to come back to growth before the end of 2014.

Disselbloem suggested we would have to wait and see if initial optimism is well-founded. “In November 2012,” he said, “we said that if necessary we will consider further measures. Whether it’s necessary it’s still to be seen when we have the new debt sustainability figures.”

While the International Monetary Fund is in favour of reducing Greece’s debt, the EU is yet to come out in support of such a measure.

Today’s talk is a first step, but Greecewill have to wait until after summer, when its economic progress will be reviewed, to see if Europe will back Greek debt relief.