Too early to decide on Portugal deficit deadline, EU's Rehn says

BRUSSELS Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:21am EST

A man walks near containers at a port in Lisbon August 14, 2012. Portuguese port workers started a midnight strike against the revision of the legal framework for dock work. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

A man walks near containers at a port in Lisbon August 14, 2012. Portuguese port workers started a midnight strike against the revision of the legal framework for dock work.

Credit: Reuters/Rafael Marchante

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Friday it was not the time to decide if it will give Portugal more time to bring down its deficit to below EU-mandated levels.

"It is premature to talk about potential implications," EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters when asked about Portugal's budget deficit, adding that he would wait for the results of the next EU/ECB/IMF mission to Portugal that starts on Monday before talking any decisions.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott and Jan Strupczewski; editing by Rex Merrifield)

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