Rivers of Hope

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal would be left “rudderless in a storm of risks” if it does not complete budget adjustments under a bailout, its finance minister said, as the main opposition hardened its anti-austerity stance.

With the worst economic recession since the 1970s making tough budget goals harder to reach, the center-right government is under growing pressure to ease austerity measures imposed under the 2011 rescue programme.

The government says it is likely to request an extra year to meet budget goals under the bailout, but political opponents and some business leaders say much more time is needed. Meanwhile, inspectors from Lisbon’s EU/IMF lenders this week started a bailout review, which is likely to last all of next week.

“If we abandon the (budget consolidation) strategy, Portugal would…

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