Portugal approves stability program, forecasts 1.4 percent deficit in 2017

GMT 00:38 2016 Friday ,22 April

Arab Today, arab today Portugal approves stability program, forecasts 1.4 percent deficit in 2017

Finance Minister Mario Centeno
Lisbon - XINHUA

Portugal approved its growth and stability program at a cabinet meeting on Thursday, with Finance Minister Mario Centeno positive that it will be approved by Brussels.

The growth and stability program, the country's long-term budget plan for the next few years by 2020, is based on a prudent scenario, he said at a press conference following the meeting.

Centeno confirmed that the country's objective is to reach deficit of 1.4 percent of GDP in 2017, from 2.2 percent this year and 4.4 percent last year.

The country's budgetary implementation in the first months of 2016 means the European Commission is likely to approve the government's plan, he added.

The program forecasts revenues of 450 million euros, related to liabilities of collapsed bank BPP.

Portugal's government led by Prime Minister Antonio Costa came into power in November and has been promising to roll back austerity and boost growth.

On Thursday, Eurostat said Portugal had missed its deficit target last year of 2.7 percent and is above the EU ceiling of 3 percent.

Centeno said on Thursday that Portugal would reach the deficit target proposed through spending cuts.

The government expects the economy to grow by 1.8 percent this year, the same percentage as in 2017.

Portugal was bailed out in 2011 under a 78 billion euro package by the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission. (1 euro = 1.14 U.S. dollars)

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