Eurozone hits turbulence over Portugal’s economic woes
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Portugal’s finance minister admitted his country was at a high risk of needing a bailout as struggling economies tipped the eurozone dangerously close to the edge on Monday. Debt-hit Ireland denies it will apply for a bailout but admits it is in talks with partners.
Finance Minister Fernando Teixiera dos Santos told the Financial Times Portugal was at risk of a contagion from debt-hit countries. “It is the problems of Greece, Portugal and Ireland. This is not a problem of just our country,” he said.
Portugal is improving its finances as it struggles with burgeoning public debt and deficit, he said.
The comments came on the eve of tense discussions among the 16 eurozone members in Brussels on improving economic policymaking.
EU finance ministers will discuss the situation in Portugal but also in Greece and in Ireland as Dublin confirmed it was in talks with partners over its huge debt problem.
Ireland has however denied it would follow Greece and apply for emergency loans as it struggle with precarious public financing.
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers said the eurozone was indeed ready to act "as soon as possible" if Ireland sought financial assistance.
But he stressed that "Ireland has not put forward their request."
Financial markets are showing increasing concern about the stability of the eurozone as new figures also show that Greece's deficit is also getting worse despite the bailout.
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