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Portugal warns EU-IMF troika to back off on austerity demands

January 6, 2013
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Source: Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph.co.uk

President Anibal Cavaco Silva called for urgent action to halt the “recessionary spiral”, warning Europe’s leaders that the current course had become “socially unsustainable”.

In a speech to the nation, he said Portugal would “honour its international obligations”, but in the same breath called for a tough line with the European Union-International Monetary Fund Troika over the pace of fiscal tightening under Portugal’s €78bn (£63bn) loan package. “We have arguments, and we should use them firmly,” he said.

“Fiscal austerity is leading to declining output and lower tax revenue. We must stop this vicious circle,” he said, cautioning the Troika that there would be no way out of the crisis until policy was set in the interests of the “Portuguese people” as well as foreign creditors.

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