Portugal not associated with Greece's financial troubles

GMT 07:17 2015 Tuesday ,07 July

Arab Today, arab today Portugal not associated with Greece's financial troubles

Portugal's Deputy PM Paulo
Lisbon - XINHUA

Portugal should not be associated with Greece's financial troubles, Portugal's Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas said on Monday.

"We are European and we want the Greeks to overcome their problems, but our first duty is with the Portuguese, who made great efforts to defeat bankruptcy," Portas said at a conference in Alcochet, some 30 km south of capital Lisbon.

Portas also criticized Socialist party leader Antonio Costa for showing solidarity with its Greek neighbors.

"If Antonio Costa was prime minister, as soon as Syriza won, he would have shown ideological solidarity and would draw Portugal closer to the problem instead of separating the Portuguese from that instability," he said.

"He (Costa) would throw away the efforts made by the Portuguese and the ability for the Portuguese to recover their incomes," he added.

Portas' comments came after Socialist leader Antonio Costa on Monday called for the Portuguese government to show more solidarity with Greece, claiming that the "no" on Sunday in a referendum on further austerity meant an "opportunity for a new approach to the crisis which is not centered exclusively on Greece."

Portugal ended its bailout last year and has paid back 8.4 billion euros (9.3 billion U.S. dollars) to the IMF, while Greece rejected a 1.5 billion payment which was due last Tuesday.

While Greece is being governed by a radical leftist government defying austerity, the Portuguese have not turned to left-wing parties and have been dubbed Europe's "best pupil" for the way in which the country rigorously implemented reforms over the past years.

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