Home News Portugal says to complete bailout reforms ahead of time

Portugal says to complete bailout reforms ahead of time

Published on 13/03/2012

Portugal is on the way to completing ahead of schedule economic reforms required under its international bailout, a senior official said Tuesday.

“We’re moving more rapidly than expected in completing our objectives,” said Carlos Moedas, the Portuguese official in charge of coordinating with its international creditors — the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Portugal was the third eurozone country to be bailed out, receiving last year a package worth up to 78 billion euros ($102 billion) after Greece and Ireland.

It was cleared for receiving around 20 billion euros under this package after convincing the EU, IMF and ECB that it made sufficient progress in implementing demanded reforms.

In addition to cutting its overspending by slashing spending and raising taxes, it has to undertake reforms to free up the labour market such as making it easier to fire workers, make working hours flexible and reducing regulation.

The reforms will allow “creating jobs and a to have a different country in the years to come,” Moedas said on the eve of a visit by EU Economics Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn.

Portugal’s economy shrank by 1.6 percent in 2011 and the EU, ECB and IMF are concerned that a contraction of more than 3.0 percent this year could complicate its efforts to reduce its cut its deficit.