Portugal is set to receive an €80bn bailout package by the middle of May - as long as the beleaguered nation pushes through tough austerity measures.
European finance ministers meeting in Hungary today said a rescue package of funds will be made available by mid-May on the condition the country implements an austerity package more far-reaching than the planned round of cuts which forced Jose Socrates' government from power.
According to reports, finance ministers are now due to travel to Lisbon next week to thrash out a deal with the final bailout package expected to be announced around 16 May - three weeks before the country's elections on 5 June.
This means the austerity programme needed to be implemented as a pre-requisite for a bailout, in addition to a privatisation programme, will need cross-party support.
The rescue package will reportedly consist of a combination of EU, IMF and ECB funds in a similar structure agreed for the Irish bailout. Reports have suggested the UK could be liable for as much as £4.4bn.
Yesterday, chancellor George Osborne warned the UK could face a similar plight to that of Portugal unless businesses and unions back his round of cuts.
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