Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn praised the Portuguese government for budget-austerity steps taken under its international aid package and urged political unity in the face of “major challenges” for the country.
Portugal received a 78 billion-euro ($103 billion) rescue from the EU and the International Monetary Fund last year after a rising budget deficit and public debt drove up borrowing costs. Spending cuts and tax increases to improve the nation’s finances have contributed to a recession, with the EU in November forecasting a 3 percent contraction this year.
“We are working together with Portugal in the context of the EU-IMF program, which Portugal is implementing effectively and which is on track,” Rehn told reporters today in Strasbourg, France. “I know that Portugal and the Portuguese people are facing major challenges, but it’s important that the country is showing political unity and resilience in order to overcome these challenges. The Portuguese people can trust that Europe stands by the Portuguese people.”
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