Portugal denies it is under pressure to take bailout

Reuters, Sunday 9 Jan 2011

German finance ministry distances itself from reports that they are urging Portugal to seek an international bailout for the sake of the euro zone as economists predict it's just a matter of time

Portugal denied on Sunday that it is under pressure by France and Germany to seek a bailout from Brussels and the IMF to ease concerns over its debts, like Greece and Ireland before it.

German magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday that Germany and France want Lisbon to accept an international bailout as soon as possible to prevent the euro zone debt crisis from spreading.

But a Portuguese government spokesman denied any such pressures, saying the country was focused on boosting economic growth.

"This (Der Spiegel) story has no foundations, it is false," the spokesman said.

In Germany, a finance ministry spokesman said: "Germany is not pushing anyone to accept a bailout."

Investors are increasingly concerned that Portugal will be unable to finance itself in debt markets, forcing it to seek funding from overseas instead.

A Reuters poll of economists last week showed most expect Portugal to need a bailout.

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