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Portugal exits bailout but austerity continues

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Portugal exits bailout but austerity continues

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After three years Portugal has become the second eurozone country to exit its bailout, and like Ireland it will do so without a credit safety net.

The government has taken control of its finances from the Troika comprised of the EU, IMF and ECB, but President Anibal Cavaco Silva held back on cracking open the champagne.

“ The Portuguese people demonstrated a great sense of responsibility, but reaching the end of rescue operation, doesn’t mean that the rigorous requirements to which Portugal is subject are over.”

With the budget in order and borrowing costs at an eight-year low the government set out its priorities for growth.

“The reform schedule is based on three main pillars : Competitivity, employment and state reform,” announced assistant secretary of state to the prime minister Carlos Moedas.

Though Portugal may be back in control, the legacy of austerity lives on. The unemployment rate is at 15.1% and the economy remains fragile contracting by 0.7% in the first quarter.