Portugal’s Prime Minister Jose Socrates says he has “no doubt” the Finnish will back his country’s bailout, according to comments made today.Socrates, who is stand in PM until Portugal conducts its next election, says negotiations have to be “fast and discreet.” One of his cabinet members says a deal should be worked out before the May 16 meeting of Europe’s finance ministers.
Even if the deal is done on time, it still faces the major hurdle of a Finnish no, which continues to seem plausible. The anti-bailout True Finns just gained several key posts in the country’s new government, including the head of the Foreign Affairs department. The National Coalition Party is in charge of the Finance Ministry, so will have the loudest voice at eurozone finance ministers events.
The most likely outcome here is that the deal to bailout Portugal includes strict provisions the True Finns are pushing for, rather than a complete bailout flop. Still, any delay in Portugal’s bailout could be dangerous, as the country needs to pay €8 billion in debt in the middle of June.