Eurozone may change terms of Portugal's bailout as well

Germany may be willing to study revising the terms of Portugal’s bailout, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told his Portuguese counterpart in Brussels in a conversation picked up by Portuguese television.

Germany will “be ready” for an adjustment of the Portuguese program if needed, Schaeuble told Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar at a meeting of European officials yesterday. He added that it was key that a decision first be made on Greece.

“That’s much appreciated,” Gaspar said in a videoclip posted on the website of television station TVI.

Portugal got a 78 billion-euro ($104 billion) bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund after a rising budget deficit and public debt drove up borrowing costs. Spending cuts and tax increases to improve the nation’s finances have contributed to a recession, with the EU in November forecasting a 3 percent contraction this year, worse than Greece’s 2.8 percent.

Schaeuble told Gaspar, who worked for six years at the Frankfurt-based European Central Bank, that the German government faces skepticism at home from the public and members of parliament who “don’t believe that our decisions are serious.”


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