Portugal's opposition party supports external aid

Updated: 2011-04-07 12:19


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LISBON - Portugal's main opposition party said Wednesday that it supports the government's request for external aid.

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"I have already informed the Portuguese president and I told the government last week that we would support the solicitation for external aid," said Pedro Passos Coelho, president of the Social Democratic Party.

Portugal's financial situation worsened after the Parliament rejected proposed austerity measures last month, forcing former Prime Minister Jose Socrates to resign.

The government said Wednesday it would seek bailout from the European Union, after domestic political instability has sent bond yields soaring and sparked a series of rating downgrades.

In his speech, Coelho tried to reassure the international market, saying if he takes office as prime minister, he would maintain every measure needed to acquire the financial aid.

He also tried to play down the importance of the financial-aid request, as his party was responsible for rejecting the austerity measures.

"Since last year, the Portuguese banks and the Portuguese state are already beneficiaries of the financial support by the European Central Bank. We believe that this request for financial aid will leave the Portuguese with less anxiety and more hope in the future," he said.


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