Portugal deficit rises, worsening debt woes

AP News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2011 7:45 AM
Portugal deficit rises, worsening debt woes

Portugal's National Statistics Institute estimates the debt-stressed country's national budget deficit last year was 8.6 percent _ way above the government's target of 7.3 percent.

The estimate published Thursday was another severe setback for Portugal's attempts to avoid taking a bailout as Greece and Ireland had to last year.

Portugal has been overwhelmed by a financial crisis that has pushed the yield on its 10-year bond to a euro-era record of 8.23 percent, an unsustainable level.

The government quit last week in a dispute with opposition parties over measures to restore the country's fiscal health.

Rating agencies have downgraded the country's credit worthiness three times in recent days.