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IMF in talks with Portugal ‘as long as necessary’

Published on 28/04/2011

The International Monetary Fund will negotiate the terms of a financial rescue with Portugal as long as it takes to reach an agreement, an IMF spokesman said Thursday.

“Negotiations are ongoing and will continue as long as needed,” spokesman David Hawley said at a news briefing at the IMF headquarters in Washington.

“All parties involved understand the importance of reaching an agreement. I don’t want to be drawn on a date specific,” Hawley added.

Officials from the “troika” of the European Central Bank, European Union and IMF are currently in Lisbon negotiating the terms of financial rescue package expected to total nearly 80 billion euros ($118 billion).

Portugal’s outgoing Prime Minister Jose Socrates said Thursday the bailout plan should be drafted by mid-May to present to eurozone finance ministers on May 16.