Portugal has moved a step closer to exiting its bailout programme after the international lenders that saved the country from bankruptcy approved a review of the economy six months early.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund have been monitoring the country’s economic reforms, a condition of the 2011 78bn-euro (£66bn) bailout.
Portugal hopes to leave the bailout agreement in the middle of next year.
At the weekend Ireland became the first eurozone country to exit its bailout.
The troika – the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – have carried out ten reviews of the economy to ensure that budget cuts and economic restructuring are implemented.
“The lenders agreed that our targets were met and our objectives are within reach,” said the country’s finance minister Maria Luis Albuquerque. “It was a very smooth evaluation… that envisages the end of the bailout programme on the agreed date” in mid-2014, she said.
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