Portugal caught up in 'contagious' debt crisis
Speculation is rife that Portugal will be forced to follow Ireland into seeking a rescue plan from the EU because of the spreading international debt crisis.
Portugal's Finance Minister,Teixeira dos Santos said that the situations in Ireland and Portugal were quite different. He was quoted in the Diário de Notícias as saying that Portugal had not approached Brussels, either formally or informally, to discuss special asistance.
According to the Daily Telegraph EU authorities have begun to vent fury against Ireland over its refusal to accept a financial rescue, fearing that the contagious crisis will engulf Portugal and Spain unless confidence is restored immediately to eurozone bond markets.
Portugal has struggled to achieve economic growth under the euro common currency system. It has been disclosed that Greece's economic difficulties are even worse than previously thought. Spain's economy is moribund.
“Stronger countries and weaker countries using the common currency of the euro are being pulled in different directions,” says the New York Times. “Some economists wonder if unity will hold or if some new system that allows countries to move on one of two parallel financial tracts is needed.”
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned: “If the euro fails, then Europe fails.”