IMF ‘early-bird’ interest payment saves government €80 million

The government has saved a reported €80 million by pre-empting an interest payment due to the IMF in February 2019.

Secretary of state for the treasury Ricardo Mourinho Félix made the announcement earlier this week, saying it represents 10% of Portugal’s overall debt to the troika lender.

Analysts have interpreted the pay-out as a bid to allay investor fears over the country’s debt levels.

Prime minister António Costa has been at pains to stress that Portugal is poised to exit the “excessive deficit programme”, and is in the strongest financial position it has been in for years. But the announcement by the Bank of Portugal that public debt reached 133.1% of GDP in September has somewhat stolen Costa’s thunder.

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