After all his portents of doom and gloom, German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble seems finally to have let Portugal off his critical hook.
Reacting to the government’s request to pre-empt a €10 billion repayment to the IMF, he said as he went into a meeting of Eurogroup leaders that this demonstrates the troika’s adjustment programme was “a success story”.
Since Portugal started to repay the IMF ‘ahead of maturity’, it has reimbursed more than €14.5 billion of the €26 billion originally loaned as part of the €79 billion bailout.
The decision to go for an earlybird repayment saves €1.3 billion in interest payments, and is likely to be given the green-light by the end of business today.
Only a few months ago, Schauble trashed Portugal under the Socialist government, suggesting it was “going the wrong way” (click here).