IMF releases 838.8 mn euros for Portugal program
The IMF on Wednesday released 838.8 million euros ($1.11 billion) in bailout funds to Portugal after a review of the country's program to restructure its finances.
The newest release in its three-year, 27.51 billion euro aid program for Portugal came four days after International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde said the country is “on the right track” in meeting economic reform targets set by its international creditors in exchange for rescue funding.
Total disbursements under IMF loan plan launched in May 2011 have now reached about 22.16 billion euros.
In an interview broadcast Saturday, Lagarde told the Portuguese weekly Expresso: “The program is on the right track. A significant part of fiscal adjustment has been carried out.”
“The Portuguese authorities and people of Portugal have been extremely courageous and firm in carrying out tough and painful reforms,” she said.
The deep austerity demanded by the program has thrown the country into recession and sent unemployment soaring to a record 16 percent.
“We are of course very worried by the rise in unemployment but we are working with the authorities and our European partners to ensure that structural reforms help in creating jobs and lead to growth,” Lagarde said.
“However now that the work is two-thirds through, the main aim must be to complete the adjustment program,” she added.