Portugal ‘irresponsible’ says Borg

Sweden’s Minister of Finance Anders Borg has taken a tough line against Portugal and called its delay in seeking aid ‘irresponsible’, according to reports in Swedish media.

The comments were made by Borg on his way to the latest meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (Ecofin) in Budapest, where Portugal’s financial crisis is the dominant topic of discussion.

“The question of whether we will offer bilateral loans is still open,” he is reported saying.

“First there has to be a clear assessment of Portugal’s austerity program and the situation in the financial sector.”

“A lot of countries are likely to have strong views about the way it has handled the situation. Portugal has made it more difficult for Greece and Ireland with its delay. Thousands of jobs have disappeared in Portugal and Europe because of that delay.”

Borg is reported saying it would have been much better for Portugal to seek aid sooner because it has been apparent since the autumn that it required loans. It would have been better to do it then rather than wait until an election campaign.

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