Troika warning as adjustment programme nears its close

An inscrutable Subir Lall left a chill in the air as the Troika decamped following the 12th and final evaluation of Portugal’s adjustment programme, now days away from coming to its close.
Talking to journalists, the economist for the IMF maintained that despite the political mileage being made – with high-profile government figures like Paulo Portas declaring that Portugal has “recovered” its freedom – there is a very long way to go, and the country still “needs profound changes”.
Backed by his troika partners (the EC and European central bank) Lall stressed the danger of complacency and the need for Portugal to commit itself to medium and long-term reforms as well as “budgetary consolidation” (the new buzz word being used to replace its overused predecessor ‘austerity’).
In its press release on what is effectively the last ‘report’ while Portugal is still bound to the terms of the €78 billion bailout, the Troika said: “High levels of indebtedness in the economy underscore the need for decisive measures to reduce corporate debt and associated risk premia.”
It is those “decisive measures” that the country awaits with trepidation.
Meantime, the conclusion of this final review “could take place in June”, says the press release, which would allow for the release of the final €2.6 billion tranche of bailout funding.