EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici:

Portuguese public debt remains high

GMT 07:38 2015 Wednesday ,01 April

Arab Today, arab today Portuguese public debt remains high

EU Commissioner Pierre Moscovici
Lisbon - Arab Today

Portugal's public debt remains very high, the EU's financial affairs chief Pierre Moscovici said in a newspaper interview before his visit to the Portuguese capital on Tuesday.
"Portugal has made an extraordinary effort, but more has yet to be done," Moscovici told Portuguese financial daily Diario Economico.
"The Portuguese public debt is sustainable but it still remains very high," said Moscovici, who serves as the European commissioner for economic and financial affairs, taxation and customs.
His visit comes a week after the Portuguese National Institute of Statistics (INE) revealed that Portugal's deficit stood at 4.5 percent of GDP in 2014, below the government's forecast of 4.8 percent.
On Monday, the INE revealed that Portugal's unemployment rate rose to 14.1 percent in February from 13.8 percent in the previous month.
"The economy is recovering and that is the reason for my visit. But on the other hand, we also know that that recovery is fragile, particularly concerning employment, and that there is no margin for complacency. The situation continues to be very difficult for millions of Portuguese and despite the achievements, there are still many challenges ahead," Moscovici added.
Moscovici is meeting Portuguese Minister of Finance Maria Luis Albuquerque on Tuesday to discuss the country's economic priorities. He will then have lunch with Socialist leader Antonio Costa, before talking with the Secretary of State for European Affairs Bruno Macaes concerning the country's proposals to enhance the economic and monetary union.
Portugal exited its 78 billion euro (83.83 billion U.S. dollar) bailout last year.
While Portugal has been dubbed the euro zone's "good pupil" for its implementation of reforms imposed by the troika, the European Commission in February placed Portugal under "specific monitoring" due to an excessive economic imbalance, pointing out that the country's budgetary consolidation strategy didn't enable the country to meet its medium-term objectives.
Portugal's GDP expanded in the fourth quarter at the fastest rate in a year, but the country is still struggling to reduce its public debt which still stands at around 130 percent of GDP.
The Portuguese government forecasts the deficit to be 2.7 percent of GDP in 2015.
Source: XINHUA

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