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Portugal says it is no longer financially ‘desperate’

Published on 19/06/2015

Portugal's prime minister said Friday that the eurozone's resilience and the country's newfound economic stability would enable it to withstand the Greece crisis without "desperation and worry".

“The eurozone appears to be much more resilient today. Portugal and Ireland are not desperate and worried, or anxious to know how much time it will take to ask for outside help if risks surrounding Greece materialise,” said Pedro Passos Coelho.

Eurozone members Portugal and Ireland were also bailed out by international lenders during the financial crisis. Lisbon received a 78-billion-euro ($89 billion) bailout in 2011, while Ireland got a 64-billion-euro rescue ($72 billion) in 2010.

But as Greece teeters on the brink of default and possible exit from the euro, some economists are concerned that the precedent of a country leaving Europe’s single currency might come back to haunt the eurozone as other countries facing difficulties might feel the heat in the markets.

After imposing austerity measures, Dublin and Lisbon have now regained access to international financial markets, and could be vulnerable to a Grexit.

Coelho said that Portugal is perceived in Europe “as a trusted partner covered by eurozone defence mechanisms, which will certainly be used if needed”.

Portugal’s economy has dramatically improved. with tourists coming to the country in record numbers. The real estate market is recovering and exports and investments are increasing.