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EU looking to agree Portugal bail-out by mid-May

The European Union is looking to agree a bail-out package for debt-stricken Portugal by the middle of May.

EU finance ministers met today in Budapest to discuss the terms of the package.

According to the BBC, Commissioner Olli Rehn said they would have to reach a cross-party agreement on an austerity agreement before aid is given and said he expected the bail-out package to be worth around £70bn.

Portugal is to hold elections on June 5, meaning it has to agree a package of austerity measures – a condition of EU bail-out packages – before then.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates’ government fell because he could not get the measures passed.

A formal request for financial support was made by Portugal late last night.

According to the report, Spain finance minister Elena said her country, which many have speculated could itself apply for a bail-out from the EU, would not be asking for support.

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