President Barroso on Portugal
President Barroso comments on Portugal's exit of the economic and financial adjustment programme, foreseen for the 17th of May.
The comments of the President came today, following his participation in a regular meeting of the Eurozone leaders (including President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, President of the ECB Mario Draghi and President of the Eurogroup Jeroen Dijsselbloem). The meeting was also attended by Vice President of the Commission Siim Kallas, acting Vice President for Monetary and Financial Affairs and the Euro.
President Barroso said:
"On the 17th of May, Portugal will exit the economic and financial adjustment programme put in place in 2011 with the support of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Portugal has announced it will do this without asking its international partners for a precautionary credit line. This is possible thanks to Portugal's rigorous implementation of the programme over the last three years, which has yielded impressive results.
Most of the serious economic imbalances that led to the crisis have been, or are being, corrected. The foundations for sustainable growth have been laid. And investor confidence has returned. It is also reassuring to hear the Portuguese Prime minister say that the country will remain on a path of sound public finances, financial stability and competitiveness.
It has not been a painless process - far from it - but it was unavoidable. I would like to praise the Portuguese people for the significant efforts and sacrifices they have made to build a better future. Their determination deserves our full respect.
With a clean exit from the programme, Portugal will now walk with his own feet. This is not only a success for Portugal but a success for Europe. Since Portugal joined the European Union in 1986, the European Commission has always been a loyal, dedicated and constructive partner to Portugal. The European Commission has remained at Portugal's side during the implementation of the adjustment programme. Moreover, Europe has provided two-thirds of the total financial assistance granted to Portugal in 2011. The European Commission will remain at Portugal's side following its exit from the programme.
The successful exit from the programme shows the immense capacities of Portugal and its people to work together to emerge stronger from the crisis. This should give Portugal the confidence it needs to be able to respond to the challenges that lie ahead, and to build a more prosperous and fair society."