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ECB President Mario Draghi warned Portugal on December 16 that the country will likely be subject to a “transitional period” austerity programme to ease its return to the markets when its current programme ends in June 2014, writes Público.

The Portuguese government has not officially ruled out a “clean exit”, such as that undertaken by Ireland, but will likely have to choose between a new troika bailout programme, or a return to the markets with a “precautionary credit line”.

In its editorial, Público writes that "Mario Draghi has pulled the rug from under Portugal" and accuses him of triggering a problem:

By ignoring ‘an Irish’ exit scenario at this early stage, Mario Draghi is sending a bad signal to the markets. It means that even he seems to doubt that in six months Portuguese interest rates will be at levels that will ensure the country’s peaceful return to the markets.