Southern eurozone member Portugal has announced it will not need further international rescue funds it had been granted in the debt crisis. The government noted the country returned to growth after unpopular reforms.
Portugal confirmed on Monday it would exit its three-year 78-billion-euro ($108.2-billion) bailout program on May 17. This would make it the third eurozone country after Ireland and Spain to do without rescue funds from international creditors grated to them during the crisis years.
"The government has decided to exit the assistance program without turning to any kind of precautionary scheme," Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said in a televised address to the nation.
Lisbon made it clear that it did not want and did not need the option of getting access to a standby loan, should its economy not develop according to schedule.
Light at the end of the tunnel
The Portuguese government was to formally communicate the decision to a meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers on Monday afternoon.
Analysts said there was little doubt the Eurogroup would endorse and support Lisbon's move. "The European Commission will assist the Portuguese authorities and people in this sovereign choice," the EU's executive arm said in a statement.
Portugal's economy suffered its worst downturn since the 1970s under its bailout scheme. But economic activity turned positive again last year and bond yields have fallen sharply. The country's 10-year bonds currently trade around 3.65 percent, marking the lowest level in eight years after peaking near 17 percent at the height of the debt crisis in 2012.
hg/jr (Reuters, dpa)