Portugal will "absolutely not" change the deficit goals firmed
in return for a EU-ECB-IMF aid package settled last year. In an
interview to Bloomberg news agency, the Prime Minister, Pedro
Passos Coelho said the Portuguese strategy on cutting spending and
raising taxes has the aim to accomplish the terms of a 78
billion-euro aid plan that allowed the country to avoid default.
Portugal is committed to creditors with a deficit's limit of 4.5
percent of gross domestic product this year and trim the shortfall
within the EU's 3 percent limit in 2013.
The Prime Minister also said that "Portugal is in a very
difficult situation. Of course things don't change from one day to
another. We had external imbalances during the last 10 years. We
are now reducing the external imbalances. Last year we could reduce
4.5 points of GDP in external imbalances. But of course we are not
able to do everything in a year".
However, he stressed that «the point is: it's important to
maintain our commitments and it's important also to deliver the
results. I'm sure in a few months when the results of the current
year are stronger in the eyes of the analysts Portugal will become
a more favorable case of success."
He recalled that "the first time I went to the European Council
everyone looked at Portugal with some fear that the country could
not reach the target of the adjustment program. But a few months
later there was more confidence in the country because the
government showed to all partners, European partners, its
commitment to reach the targets. We have presented a tough new
budget for 2012, we started structural reforms in Portugal and the
main objectives in the program are being obtained."
Today "all the [European Union] colleagues recognized, are
recognizing, the efforts of the Portuguese government."