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Germany ‘confident’ Portugal will stick to reforms

Published on 03/07/2013

Germany is "confident" Portugal will stick to reforms agreed with creditors to unlock bailout funds, a government spokesman said Wednesday amid fears the Portuguese governing coalition could be close to collapse.

“The government is confident that Portugal will continue to stick to the agreed reform course,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters, describing Portugal’s efforts so far to overcome the crisis as “impressive”.

“The German government knows that it is a very difficult path,” he added and said that because Portugal’s efforts tackled the root of its problems they would bear fruit.

Initial success had already been seen after Portugal was able to “in part, return to the market”, Seibert said.

But the country’s current political crisis, which erupted after two top ministers quit, hit its 10-year borrowing rate hard Wednesday, and also relit tension on the eurozone bond market.

On Monday, the Portuguese finance minister, architect of the country’s reforms under its European Union-IMF bailout, announced his departure.

The foreign minister declared his resignation the next day, saying he disagreed with the premier’s choice of Treasury Secretary Maria Luis Albuquerque, who has managed the country’s privatisation efforts, as the new finance minister.