Portugal is committed to doing whatever it takes to avoid requesting a second international bailout, the country’s finance minister told CNBC.
Speaking to CNBC over the weekend in Bratislava on the sidelines of a meeting of the euro zone’s finance ministers, Mario Centeno said his main focus was to fix the country’s economy so that it wouldn’t be forced into asking for further assistance from its fellow euro zone countries, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“That’s my main job, what we are putting together a commitment on the fiscal front and a reduction in public expenditure in precisely that way,” he said.
In 2011, Portugal was rescued by a 78 billion euro ($85 billion) bailout from the European Union and IMF, a process that involved swingeing spending cuts and reforms. The country successfully exited the process in 2014 and, at the time, did not need any further financing.
Nonetheless, concerns remain about Portugal’s economic health and its commitment to stimulating its businesses over boosting income levels.
In July, Barclays warned in a note to analysts that Portugal was “struggling with a systemic banking crisis, the lack of a convincing medium-term fiscal plan and excessive public and private sector leverage.”