VP Rehn comments on the economy in Europe, Portugal's budget-austerity effort and Greece's push to qualify for further aid disbursements from the euro area and IMF.
The realistic objective is that Portugal will return to the markets in 2013. It has been necessary to restore the sustainability of public finances in Portugal because the economic imbalances got accumulated and got rather bad. I am fully aware of the difficulties and the painful adjustment in Portugal concerning how the Portuguese people face this. At the same time, it’s very important that these are done respecting social fairness and restoring competitiveness of the country because that’s, in the end of the day, essential for the sustainable recovery of Portugal.
We know that we are currently in a mild recession in Europe following the turmoil in the financial markets in the middle of this year. On the other hand, we are now seeing certain signs of market stabilisation and on the condition that the eurozone -- both individual Member States and the eurozone collectively -- will be able to take the necessary decisions in the coming period, then we will be able to return more rapidly, more quickly to sustainable growth and better employment.
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