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Socrates Says Portugal Does Not Need IMF Aid, Noticias Reports

Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Portugal does not need aid from the International Monetary Fund and no country has ever put pressure on Portugal to request aid, Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates said in an interview with Diario de Noticias.

“There is no reason for the IMF to enter Portugal, because Portugal does not need that,” Socrates said, according to the daily Portuguese newspaper. “The government does not need that, we know exactly what to do and we do not need someone to come and tell us what we should do,” Socrates said in the interview.

“Our problem is just a budgetary problem that we have to correct, just as other countries have,” Socrates told Diario de Noticias. “Whoever doesn’t understand that what we are living through is a systemic matter, which concerns the euro, has understood nothing of this crisis,” he said, according to the newspaper.

“If someone thinks that this is a problem of this country or that, he is not seeing how the sovereign debt crisis is affecting the euro,” Socrates told the newspaper. “This is a problem of all European countries and I think we should do what’s possible to fight it jointly: all the European institutions, the Commission, which has played its role, the European Central Bank, which has played its role, and each of the countries, which are playing their role.”

The European project is going through “a very big challenge,” which is the defense of the single currency, Socrates told Diario de Noticias. All European leaders will be committed to defending their currency, Socrates said. “The way we have to defend it is by meeting our budget targets, that’s what we are doing,” he said, according to the newspaper.

Portugal this year will meet its goal for a budget deficit of 7.3 percent of gross domestic product, Diario de Noticias cited Socrates as saying. Markets will “slowly” understand that Portugal is doing what it should do for its budget consolidation, the prime minister said in the interview.

Story link: {NSN LD8TTH6MMXAB<GO>}

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joao Lima at jlima1@bloomberg.net

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