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Portugal “on path to stop being third most indebted EU country”

Finance minister Fernando Medina made the announcement 

Portugal’s minister of finance said on Friday that the downward revision of public debt means that the country is “closer” to achieving its goal of getting out of the position of the “third most indebted country in Europe”.

Fernando Medina was speaking to journalists at the finance ministry following the release of national accounts data by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

In addition to the upward revision of growth, “at the same time we have a downward revision of the public debt projections,” which have been revised for 2021, 2022 and 2023, he said.”

“This means that for the projection included in the Stability and Growth Programme for 2023, which was a debt of 107.5% of GDP (gross domestic product) at the end of this year, the revision of the growth of previous years and the start of 2023 automatically means that this indicator decreases to 106.1%,” he pointed out.

Now, “this means a very important conclusion: that we are closer to finalising our goal at the end of the year, which is to get out of third place among the most indebted countries in Europe, to be below” countries that “although larger than us historically, have always had lower public debts” than Portugal.

In addition, “it brings us closer to a central objective for the country, which is to be able to have a debt of less than 100% of GDP, something that hasn’t happened for more than a decade,” said Fernando Medina.

In the Excessive Deficit Procedure, released today by the INE, the forecast for the gross debt ratio for 2023 is 106.1%, below the 107.5% forecast in the Stability Programme, which had already revised downwards the target of 110.8% in the state budget for 2023 (OE2023).

The information for 2022 and previous years included in the Excessive Deficit Procedure report on the compilation of net lending/net borrowing is the responsibility of INE and on gross debt of the Bank of Portugal, but for 2023 it comes from the ministry of finance.

In the report released today, INE also revised down the public debt to GDP ratio for 2022 to 112.4% (compared to the 113.9% forecast in March) and for 2021 to 124.5% (compared to the 125.4% forecast in March).

Source: LUSA