Portugal ready to jump the gun over bailout pay-back

As she announced last month, Finance Minister Maria Luís Albuquerque is preparing to pay back some of Portugal’s bailout money ahead of time.

The plan to pay the IMF €14 billion of its original €27.3 billion loan will help reduce Portugal’s crippling interest payments but needs first to be ‘cleared’ by the troika as a whole (the ECB, IMF and EU). This is expected to happen at the next Eurogroup meeting, on Monday, February 16.

Albuquerque’s pay-back scenario envisages a period of 30 months.

As she told parliament in January, the government wants to pay “according to the measure to which it can finance itself (by selling debt) on the markets”.

It is a move that has been also adopted by Ireland which has already paid the IMF back ahead of time to the tune of €12.5 billion.