12 Dec 2010

Portuguese problems can be fixed without IMF - PM

1:26 pm on 12 December 2010

Prime Minister Jose Socrates of Portugal says the country's economic problems can be resolved without seeking help from the International Monetary Fund.

He says Portugal's problem is just a budget problem that has to be corrected, as in other countries.

Portugal is seen as the next likely euro zone candidate to need a bailout after Greece and Ireland

However, the government has adopted an austere budget for next year, including tax rises and wage cuts of 5% for the civil service.

The moves are aimed at cutting the budget deficit to 4.6% of gross domestic product, from 7.3% this year.

Mr Socrates says the euro zone crisis is a problem of all European countries and joint action is needed to resolve it.

He told the Diario de Noticias newspaper that the IMF's presence in Portugal twice in recent decades had been a negative experience.

"The government doesn't need this, we know exactly what to do and we don't need anybody to come and tell us what we should do," he said.