Earlybird repayment to IMF “is proof that Portugal is healthy again”

Portugal’s earlybird repayment of €1.7 billion back to the IMF last week means the country is “financially healthy again”, say reports, pointing out that the money was not due to be paid until 2019. The advantage of pre-empting payback limits is that the country ‘saves’ on interest due. Needless to say, business chief António Saraiva still maintains Portugal must renegotiate its debt to have space to grow.

Portugal’s total debt to the IMF as part of the 2011 troika loan came to €26 billion, of which €13 has now been paid back.

Speaking in the Algarve last weekend, Saraiva described the country’s debtload, both public and private, as “an enormous, heavy knapsack on our backs” which has to be renegotiated, far from the media spotlight and party-political struggles.