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Portuguese Finance Minister Teixeira Dos Santos speaks on his phone at today's meeting of EU finance ministers in Hungary Virginia Mayo/AP/Press Association Images

Portugal may need an €80 billion bailout

It’s hope that a final deal for a rescue package for the country will be in place by mid-May.

THE EU’S MONETARY Affairs Commissioner says that Portugal’s bailout package will be in the region of €80 billion.

Oli Rehn also says that a strict reforms programme and austerity measures will be implemented immediately. Rehn says they hope to have a final deal in place by mid-May, reports the BBC. A caretaker government is in place in Portugal until elections on 5 June. The country made a formal request for financial assistance last night.

Rehn says the austerity programme will include structural reforms, spending cuts, a stabilisation programme for the country’s financial sector and an ambitious privatisation programme.

Portugal’s bailout request is dominating a two-day meeting of 17 EU finance ministers in Hungary. The meeting had been expected to be dominated by a briefing on the state of Ireland’s finances following last week’s bank stress tests. Finance minister Michael Noonan was also expected to push for a reduction in Ireland’s interest rate.

-additional reporting by AP