Greek-style deal for Portugal not on the table: PM

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 04, 2012 4:06 AM
Greek-style deal for Portugal not on the table: PM

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal does not need a large scale debt-reduction deal like Greece's because its efforts to return to the markets are on track and its situation is fundamentally different, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Tuesday.

"We do not want to have a treatment and solution identical to Greece's. We are not asking for an equal deal," Passos Coelho said in televised remarks on while on a visit to Cape Verde.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, told a Eurogroup meeting on Monday that giving euro zone bailout recipients Portugal and Ireland the same conditions as Greece "would be a disastrous sign".

Portugal, under its 78-billion euro EU/IMF bailout program, will implement the largest tax increase in living memory next year as it seeks to regain investor confidence and return to the markets. The country is undergoing its worst recession since the 1970s.

"I would shy away from the comparison with Greece if I were another member state in the euro zone, because Greece is a unique case," Schaeuble said.

Passos Coelho said Portugal's return to the markets is being conducted gradually and this "is a reason for the Portuguese to be proud and hopeful".

"Greece endured extremely difficult moments over a five-month negotiation which allowed for the disbursement of financial support. I do not wish for Portugal the same kind of negotiation," he said.

Still, on Monday, ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said Portugal should not drag out its adjustment process unnecessarily as at a certain point reform fatigue sets in and hinders confidence.

(Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga; Editing by Susan Fenton)