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IMF says ‘ready to assist’ Portugal

The IMF on Wednesday said it stood ready to help Portugal as the country admitted it needed a European bailout to meet at least some of its debt obligations.

“We have not received a request for financial assistance,” an International Monetary Fund spokesperson said. “We stand ready to assist Portugal.”

Portugal on Wednesday said it had decided to request financial assistance from the European Union to resolve its debt problems.

Having resisted for months pressure from the markets as well as European partners, outgoing Prime Minister Jose Socrates in a televised address justified the request as needed after the rejection by parliament of his new austerity program which, he said, “aggravated in a dramatic way the country’s financial situation.”