Mid-May deadline set for Portugal bailout deal
Euro finance ministers instructed the EU, the ECB, IMF and Portugal's politicians to negotiate the country's bailout by mid-May for implementation after June 5 elections, Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker said Friday.
Ministers "invited the European Commission, the ECB, the IMF and Portugal to set up a programme and take appropriate action to safeguard financial stability" across the 17-state eurozone, Luxembourg Prime Minister Juncker said.
"Financial support will be provided on the basis that a policy programme will be supported by strict conditionality negotiated with the Portuguese authorities, duly involving the main political parties."
He said a "cross-party agreement" in Portugal was needed for the plan, which will require heavy spending cuts, tax rises and other reforms in exchange for some 80 billion euros ($115 billlon).
The package is to be adopted by mid-May and "implemented by the new government" in June.
European Central Bank head Jean-Claude Trichet said it was essential that structural budgetary adjustments were at the heart of the plan and that the "hard work (should) ... begin immediately."
© 2011 AFP