Thursday, March 24, 2011

Decisive days....Thursday 24

Today's EU summit meeting in Brussels has been thrown into some disarray by Portugal having neither a prime minister nor an elected government at a time of financial crisis.

The resignation of José Sócrates and the collapse of his Socialist government in Lisbon yesterday have left negotiators in Brussels unsure of who they should be negotiating with. Sócrates is attending the meeting but only as head of a caretaker government. A new general election in Portugal is weeks away.

Meanwhile, the question of a bailout for Portugal appears to be in limbo. The EU is willing to provide one of about €60 to €80 billion, but Sócrates and the Socialists are adamant they don't want or need it.

On resigning yesterday, Sócrates warned yet again of what he called “the profoundly negative consequences of seeking foreign aid."

No formal talks on a bailout have begun in Brussels, but EU member states are believed to be putting pressure on Portugal to ask for an assistance package amid concerns that continued resistance would endanger the stability of the 17-member euro zone.

It is thought a snap election could be held in May. “In the meantime, it's going to be a rocky few weeks” for Portugal, said Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in a speech in Washington.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff! I have thoroughly enjoyed these rapidly updating blogs. They're much easier to understand and take on board than all the waffling that's been going on on Portuguese TV. Keep up the good work!