The bill’s in: Portugal is going to cost the European Union and the International Monetary Fund €78 billion, or $116 billion, in bailout cash. The country requested a bailout about a month ago, becoming the third member of the eurozone to need an infusion of money. Portugal is saddled with ballooning debt, sinking credit ratings, and stagnant economic growth, and when Prime Minister Jose Socrates attempted to implement austerity measures, they were rejected, bringing down his government. Although the tab is larger than expected, the EU is concerned that failure to contain Portuguese economic collapse could spread to Spain, its much larger and economically important neighbor. Major opposition parties will still have to sign off on the package.
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