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Ireland not part of Portugal fund

IRELAND will not be contributing to the bailout fund for Portugal as moves are made by the EU and IMF to tie into a bailout agreement with opposition parties in the struggling nation.

Ireland contributed towards the Greek bailout, but that was before Dublin was forced into accepting €85bn from the EU/IMF.

Because Ireland is already locked into a bailout of its own, it will not be asked to help this fund.

Acting Portuguese finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos will brief his EU counterparts on the country's aid application at a scheduled meeting near Budapest, Hungary.

Unlike Ireland, Portugal's banks were in good condition, but it was the country's public and private debt, combined with stagnant growth for some years, which pushed the country closer to the edge.

It's believed that the EU-IMF authorities were working on the assumption that they can strike a deal on a rescue programme by the end of May.

This would give Portugal access to a multi-billion-euro credit line in time to repay a big bond in the days after its general election on June 5.

Opposition leader Pedro Passos Coelho of the Social Democratic Party, who is the favourite to win the election, has pledged to back the aid application.

The only way to ensure cross-party support for the package is to involve all parties in talks and the EU and IMF do not want to repeat the mistakes it made with Ireland.