08 APR 2011
By Martin Banks | The Parliament
The UK has again been urged not to participate in any EU aspects of the Portuguese bailout.
The demand comes after the EU said it will process Portugal's request for a bailout as swiftly as possible.
On Wednesday, Portuguese prime minister José Sócrates informed European commission president José Manuel Barroso of the intention to ask for the activation of financial support mechanisms.
A spokesman for the commission said the European Financial Stability Facility, the euro-zone's bailout fund, as well as a smaller fund fed by the EU budget, would be available to Portugal if it formally requested aid.
"The president of the European commission assured that this request will be processed in the swiftest possible manner, according to the rules applicable," said a statement.
A bailout requires the member state to commit to an economic adjustment programme.
MEP reaction was swift with Nigel Farage the UKIP leader, accusing Portugal of "needing to hold out its begging bowl to the EU to assuage its financial crisis".
"The full tragic reality of the Euro is now being seen. Bailing out Portugal is utterly pointless it only traps them into a system into which they are totally unsuited. Britain should not contribute a single penny to their bail out," he said.
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Portugal's bail-out: A bail-out foretold
(Charlemagne, The Economist