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The president of the Eurogroup, Paschal Donohoe, underlined on Monday that Portugal’s finances are “very stable and in good conditions,” expecting an “excellent cooperation” with the new Finance Minister, Joaquim Miranda Sarmento, who makes his debut in Brussels today.

“I hope we continue to maintain excellent cooperation with the new Government of Portugal and with the new Finance Minister, whom I look forward to the opportunity of personally receiving today. I know that, generally, the finances of Portugal remain very stable and in good conditions, but I also know that the new Finance Minister will have his own plans regarding how he intends to further strengthen them. However, I foresee excellent cooperation,” stated Paschal Donohoe.

Speaking upon arrival at the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, at the debut of the Portuguese Finance Minister, the officer refrained from commenting on the recent statements by Joaquim Miranda Sarmento about the deficit and debt left by the previous socialist government: “I leave that to the debate that is taking place in Portugal.”

“I know that, in general, the opiniom of the Eurogroup, the Commission, and all the Finance Ministers members of the European Union is that there has been a substantial improvement in the public finances of Portugal. We have seen their debt levels continue to improve and we have also seen the Portuguese economy return to strong growth, and I am sure that the new Finance Minister will inform us about his latest views regarding the current economy,” mentioned Paschal Donohoe.

“I know we will have a great cooperation with them,” he added.

The Finance Minister, Joaquim Miranda Sarmento, made his debut in Brussels for a Eurogroup meeting, where he will present the “economic and financial policy priorities of the new Government” to his counterparts in the eurozone.

In early May, in a summary of budget execution in the first three months of the year, Joaquim Miranda Sarmento revealed that the unpaid deficit and debt by the previous socialist government reached 600 million euros in March.

“In January there was a ‘surplus’, an excess, of almost 1.2 billion euros. This surplus decreased to about 800 million in February, and in March it reached a deficit of almost 300 million,” declared the official.

According to Joaquim Miranda Sarmento, the budget execution reached a deficit of 259 million euros in March, with debts to suppliers increasing by about 300 million euros.

The statements were, however, denied by his predecessor, the socialist Fernando Medina.

This meeting of the Eurogroup occurs two days before the European Commission discloses the spring macroeconomic forecasts for the eurozone and European Union.