UPDATE 1-EU Barroso: Portugal able to face serious situation

* Says Portugal’s situation serious, but no Greece

* Greek aid will be good for stability in Europe
(Adds quotes throughout)

By Daniel Alvarenga

LISBON, April 23 (BestGrowthStock) – Portugal is in a serious
fiscal situation but has the ability to face current problems
which are different from Greece’s debt crisis, European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Friday as
Greece requested billions in aid.

Debt-stricken Greece yielded to overwhelming market
pressure and appealed to its European partners and the IMF for
emergency loans. Portuguese debt has also been hammered of late
on concerns over its creditworthiness and some investors see it
as the next weak link in the euro zone.

“I think the Portuguese situation is a serious one, but
different from Greece’s for various reasons, and it has to be
faced with responsibility and measures have to be implemented
with determination,” Barroso told reporters.

“Portugal has conditions to face this situation,” he said,
adding that it was essential Portugal fulfill its medium-term
fiscal consolidation programme that seeks to slash the budget
deficit to 2.8 percent in 2013 from last year’s 9.4 percent.

He added that the government had also “declared that it is
available to take additional measures if needed.”

Barroso said Greece’s decision to apply for aid was good
for Greece and “will be good for stability in Europe.”

He said his Commission was working with the European
Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Greek
government on Greek aid adjustment.

“This work obviously is a priority. We’d like it to be
concluded as soon as possible, but we don’t hide that it’s a
complex process and we prefer to do it with safety. That’s why
it wouldn’t be right to present dates and more precise elements
now,” he added.

“And we have to make operational a mechanism that in
general lines has been approved and defined, what we have to do
now is to see what is the concrete adjustment programme and
which conditions will be applied to Greece,” Barroso said.

“It’s a multi-year programme that demands fairly fine
technical work of the European Commission with the IMF,” he

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(Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khalip;
Editing by Andrew Hay)

UPDATE 1-EU Barroso: Portugal able to face serious situation