13 APR 2011
By Leigh Phillips
EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - Experts from the European Commission, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund descended upon Lisbon on Tuesday (12 April), set to begin rapid work on the technical details of the austerity and structural adjustment requirements of an estimated €80 billion bailout.
The work, including discussion with local officials, is closed to the public and the delegation will not give out information on the nature of the talks.
The result of the expert inspection and discussion with officials once concluded will feed into discussions amongst the Socialist Party of the caretaker administration of Prime Minister Jose Socrates and some political parties in opposition, with the aim of reaching a consensus on a bail-out agreement.
The political-party consensus would then have to be approved by EU finance ministers on 16 May, ahead of the country's 5 June election.
The tough measures comes atop three rounds of austerity in the past year implemented by the Socrates administration.
The arrival of the men from Brussels, Washington and Frankfurt is deeply unpopular, reviving memories of the country's two previous IMF bail-outs, a one-year programme in 1978 and another two-year period from 1983-85.
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