Tuesday, March 22, 2011

'Portugal on brink of demanding bailout'

Source: Press TV

Portugal Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos says the country's political crisis looks increasingly likely to give it a "big push" towards an international bailout.

Santos, who was attending a European Union finance ministers' meeting on euro bailout plans in Brussels on Monday, said; “I see a consensus (between the government and opposition) as being further and further away."

He described the opposition parties as having become entrenched in their criticism of Prime Minister Jose Socrates' spending cuts, and reluctant to engage in a dialogue.

If opposition parties vote down a new set of measures designed to cut the budget deficit, the request for help from International Monetary Fund could come within the next few weeks. That vote takes place Wednesday, and Socrates has said he will quit if the new austerity package is rejected.

A failure to solve the political crisis would give "a big push to the country to fall into the arms of outside aid," Teixeira dos Santos said

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