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IMF releases fresh funds for Portugal

Published on 17/07/2012

The IMF said Monday it was releasing 1.48 billion euros ($1.82 billion) in new funds to troubled Portugal after Lisbon passed a performance review under its bailout loan program.

The International Monetary Fund said Lisbon was on track to narrow its fiscal deficit under tough austerity measures required under the 78-billion-euro joint IMF-European Union rescue program launched in May 2011.

“The authorities’ strong program implementation, despite the difficult euro-area environment, is commendable, and there are welcome signs of adjustment in the fiscal and external accounts,” said International Monetary Fund deputy managing director Nemat Shafik.

“Fiscal consolidation is on track. The end-2012 fiscal target remains within reach, although risks to its attainment have increased on account of weaker revenue performance,” he said in a statement.

It was the fifth release of funds under the IMF’s three-year, 29.3 billion euro part of the joint program.

The IMF said Lisbon needs to continue pressing to strengthen tax collection and reform the labor market to address a sharp rise in unemployment.