Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday released €838.8 million in bailout funds to Portugal after a review of the country’s program to restructure its finances.
The newest release in its three-year, €27.51 billion aid program for Portugal came four days after IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the country is “on the right track” in meeting economic reform targets set by its international creditors in exchange for rescue funding.
Total disbursements under IMF loan plan launched in May 2011 have now reached about €22.16 billion.
In an interview broadcast on Saturday, Lagarde told the Portuguese weekly Expresso: “The programme is on the right track. A significant part of fiscal adjustment has been carried out.”
“The Portuguese authorities and people of Portugal have been extremely courageous and firm in carrying out tough and painful reforms,” she said.
The deep austerity demanded by the programme has thrown the country into recession and sent unemployment soaring to a record 16%.
“We are of course very worried by the rise in unemployment but we are working with the authorities and our European partners to ensure that structural reforms help in creating jobs and lead to growth,” Lagarde said.
“However now that the work is two-thirds through, the main aim must be to complete the adjustment program,” she added.