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Brazil may help Portugal in economic crisis

Published on 29/03/2011

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday that her country could help its former colonial ruler Portugal as the eurozone state struggles to cope with a growing deficit and debt crisis.

“Yes, Brazil could help Portugal, just as Portugal helped Brazil economically,” Rousseff was quoted as saying by the Lusa news agency during a visit to the central city of Coimbra.

Rousseff was set to travel to Lisbon on Wednesday to meet her Portuguese counterpart Anibal Cavaco Silva and outgoing prime minister Jose Socrates.

Portugal is in the midst of a political and economic crisis after Socrates’ government failed last week to get support for the latest series of spending cuts to trim the government’s deficit and avoid following Greece and Ireland in seeking an international bailout.

International ratings agencies slashed Portugal’s ratings after Socrates’ government resigned while the cost to raise new funds to cover Portugal’s maturing debt has reached record highs.

The country faces a difficult challenge in the coming months as it must roll over some nine billion euros in debt.