Portugal’s debt “second highest in EU” but reducing for last three months of 2016

It’s time for the ‘good news’ and the ‘bad news’.

The good news, reported last week, is that Portugal’s economic debt – that is, the debt of the non-financial sector – reduced by “almost a billion euros” in the last quarter of 2016.

In other words, says negociosonline, economic debt which in August last year came to its maximum for the year, was down to 717.2 billion euros by November.

But the bad news is that this is still a great deal of debt.

According to Lusa news agency – the second highest in the EU – taking the percentage of GDP to 133.4%.

It’s a spiral that even today sees one of the government’s left-wing partners (Bloco de Esquerda) pushing for debt renegotiation – an ‘old chestnut’ that has been discussed endlessly since Portugal made its so-called ‘clean exit’ from the troika’s financial adjustment plan.

But renegotiation has been dismissed by both Socialist leader António Costa and President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who both insist there are encouraging signs that the country is recovering.

TVI24 warns nonetheless that “external factors” like “hurricane Trump” could change all this.

The station explains that the effects of President Trump’s arrival on the scene are “for now, difficult to predict”, but one thing seems certain, they will “pressure on economic recoveries and the sovereign debts of countries”.

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