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Eurogroup ministers get short shrift following latest evaluation on Portugal

Despite various negative predictions, the evaluation of Portugal’s economic progress by Eurogroup ministers yesterday went as well as could have been hoped, with Portugal’s finance minister Mário Centeno actually telling reporters that some voices in the group of Europe’s financial leaders had been “very wrong” in their protestations about national recovery during 2016.

Quizzed as to whom he was referring, Centeno said: “No, no, I am not referring to anybody”.

But as media sources point out, one of the most negative points of view on Portugal’s financial policies has always come from German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble (click here).

The positive result of yesterday’s evaluation was that Portugal has basically received a ‘pat on the head’: Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem accepts that the country is taking “adequate measures”, and although risks persist and there is “no room for complacency”, the group he leads cannot really spread too much of its habitual negativity.

As Centeno delighted in telling reporters afterwards: “The numbers are there” to show “contrary to what some predicted, Portugal is on a good path with a deficit sustainably below 3%” and one which the government has assured will be rated below 2.3% for 2016

“We always keep our commitments”, Centeno continued. “And we have shown the determination of this country to continue to keep them”.

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