Unemployment in Portugal reached 16.9 per cent in the last quarter of 2012 (a year ago it was 14 per cent), according to data revealed by National Statistics Institute on February 13. Portugal has the third highest unemployment rate in Europe, just behind Greece and Spain, which have already passed 26 per cent.

Unemployment is at its highest recorded level, while economists and business experts are warning that no reversal of the cycle is likely soon.

"There are no magic formulas and only business investment can create jobs, wealth and economic growth. Acceleration of structural reforms, […] and better financing conditions, to make loans more affordable for businesses, can also accelerate the economic recovery," says Diário Económico.