Stony-faced troika on way back to Portugal

Four months before Portugal’s legislative elections, the so-called troika – always photographed with the stoniest of faces – is due back for the country’s second “post-programme” evaluation.

Scheduled to arrive to start work on Thursday (June 4), the concern of creditors (the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and the European Commission) is that their findings will be published ahead of the elections, writes Observador website.

In other words, if they are as critical as they were last time round, electors may be further swayed in their voting intentions, suggests the site – reminding readers that the last post-programme evaluation caused “a polemic” between troika lenders and the government.

Nonetheless, “business is business”, as the IMF particularly has been at pains to stress throughout this painful period of economic adjustment.

As Observador explains, not only was the IMF dubious about Portugal’s progress after the first post-programme evaluation, it has recently “reiterated its doubts” – saying the proximity of the autumn’s elections appear to be “conditioning” the implementation of vital reforms.

Elsewhere, national media have limited themselves simply to announcing the troika’s return, with TVI24 pointing out that already this year the State has repaid its lenders “around €535 million just in interest” on the original €78 billion bailout loan.

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