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IMF says Portugal bailout only “qualified success”, leaving unfinished business

Page created: Friday, 23 September 2016 8:55 GMT

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Bailout  IMF  Portugal

Portugal’s EU/IMF bailout was only a “qualified success”, ensuring a return to international bond markets but leaving high debts, weak banks and high unemployment, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

The IMF’s evaluation of Portugal’s 78 billion euro ($88 billion) 2011-2014 bailout, to which the Fund contributed a third, found that fiscal consolidation fell short of expectations and debt levels were not stabilised as hoped.

“The program was a qualified success,” it said, pointing to the fact that in containing the debt crisis it restored Portugal’s debt market access and avoided a banking crisis.

“But Portugal was left with unfinished business. Public and private debt remain high; banks still have balance sheet weaknesses; the unemployment rate remains in double digits; and the competitiveness gap has only partly been closed,” it said.