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Portugal gets another IMF bailout payment

Published on 17/04/2014

The International Monetary Fund released a bailout payment of 851 million euros ($1.18 billion) to Portugal on Thursday as the debt-riddled country gets close to exiting its three-year IMF-European Union rescue.

The IMF executive board approved the payment, which brings the total amount disbursed under the program to 25.7 billion euros.

The so-called “troika” of international lenders — the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank — opened a 78-billion-euro credit lifeline to Portugal on May 20, 2011 that was to end this May 17.

But the IMF said Thursday it had accepted a request to extend the program to June 20 to allow for a 12th and final review of Portugal’s progress in implementing economic reforms required by the bailout.

Portugal earlier in the day said it plans to make on Wednesday its first pre-announced bond auction in three years, aiming to raise 500-750 million euros ($690 million-$1.0 billion).

Lisbon was forced to seek a rescue by the troika after decades of ballooning wages and state spending led to a massive build-up of public debt.

Still struggling to overcome its debt crisis, recession and public anger at tough austerity measures, the country posted a public deficit of 4.9 percent of output last year, overshooting the eurozone’s target of 3.0 percent.

Public debt rose to 129.0 percent of output last year, up from 124.1 percent in 2012.