EU, IMF experts to discuss bailout with Portugal on Tuesday
Experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF will visit Lisbon this week for talks on an 80 billion euro bailout for Portugal, a commission spokesman said Sunday.
The mission will lay the groundwork for political-level talks between the so-called “troika” and Portugal’s political parties the following week, spokesman Cezary Lewanowicz told AFP.
The experts will meet Tuesday with Portuguese finance ministry officials to discuss the “technical details” of the plan, worth $115 billion, Lewanowicz said.
The European Union and IMF offered to save Portugal from a debt crisis on Friday but warned that in return Lisbon would have to implement more public spending cuts, tax rises and far-reaching privatisations.
The commission hopes to meet with all of Portugal’s political parties to discuss the rescue programme ahead of snap elections on June 5, Lewanowicz said.
“The goal is to have the strongest possible consensus and a clear commitment, whatever the outcome of the elections,” the spokesman said.
The International Monetary Fund said the political-level meeting would take place on April 18.
“Following a request by the Portuguese authorities, IMF experts will join European Commission and European Central Bank teams for a technical assessment of the current situation of the Portuguese economy this coming Tuesday,” said IMF external relations director Caroline Atkinson.
“This will serve as the basis for the policy discussions that will start the following Monday, April 18,” she said.
Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates asked for the bailout after parliament last month rejected austerity measures proposed by his minority government, prompting his resignation.
Portugal is the third eurozone country to go cap in hand to the EU and IMF after Greece and Ireland received multi-billion bailouts last year.