Por­tu­gal doesn’t need IMF help: PM

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

LIS­BON: Por­tu­gal has the means to over­come its fis­cal cri­sis on its own and doesn't need to ask the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund for help, Por­tu­gal's prime min­is­ter, José Socrates, said in an in­ter­view.

"We don't have any prob­lem that re­quires us to ask the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund for help," Mr. Socrates said in a Fri­day in­ter­view with Por­tuguese news­pa­per Diario de Noti­cias. "Our prob­lem is a prob­lem re­gard­ing our deficit."

He said he re­gret­ted that the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets haven't re­acted more ob­jec­tively to the govern­ment's aus­ter­ity mea­sures but added that the "mar­kets will slowly re­al­ize that Por­tu­gal is do­ing what needs to be done to con­sol­i­date its govern­ment bud­get in or­der to give con­fi­dence back to the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets."

Por­tu­gal is fac­ing in­creased bor­row­ing costs to fi­nance its bud­get and spi­ral­ing pub­lic debt be­cause in­ter­na­tional in­vestors are concerned that the ex­port­de­pen­dent coun­try of a lit­tle over 10 mil­lion peo­ple hasn't done enough to pare back its bud­get deficit. The govern­ment is im­pos­ing se­vere mea­sures to cut the deficit, in­clud­ing re­duc­ing salaries of pub­lic work­ers and rais­ing taxes, but econ­o­mists say the mea­sures may not be enough to ap­pease in­ter­na­tional in­vestors be­cause of ex­pec­ta­tions of low or no eco­nomic growth in com­ing years.

The govern­ment has promised to cut its bud­get deficit to 4.6% of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct next year from 7.3% of GDP in 2010, a move that is likely to curb growth and to in­crease un­em­ploy­ment, cur­rently at 10.9%. Ac­cord­ing to Euro­pean Union es­ti­mates, the Por­tuguese econ­omy will shrink 1% in 2011, af­ter ex­pand­ing 1.3% this year.

Prime Min­is­ter Socrates said many other Euro­pean coun­tries also are pur­su­ing aus­ter­ity pack­ages in or­der to pre­vent the sov­er­eign-debt con­ta­gion from spread­ing. The con­ta­gion has claimed Greece and Ire­land as its lat­est vic­tims and is threat­en­ing Por­tu­gal and Spain. -PB News

TU­NIS: Seiji Mae­hara, Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs of Ja­pan (R), and Amr Moussa, The Arab League's sec­re­tary-gen­eral (L) speak to jour­nal­ists fol­low­ing their meet­ing dur­ing the 2nd meet­ing of the Arab-Ja­pan Eco­nomic Fo­rum 'A new Chap­ter for Mu­tual Pros­per­ity' on De­cem­ber 12. -Ap

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.