(Adds other Barroso quote)
PARIS Nov 26 European Commission President Jose
Manuel Barroso flatly denied on Friday that a financial aid plan
was in the works for Portugal.
"I can tell you that it's absolutely false, completely
false," said the head of the European Union's executive body,
adding that an aid plan for the country had neither been
requested nor suggested.
The Financial Times Deutschland quoted unidentified sources
as saying some euro zone states wanted Portugal to seek aid in
order to avoid Spain, the fifth largest EU economy, from having
to follow suit [ID:nLDE6AP08Y].
Lisbon, which is preparing to pass an austere 2011 budget
later on Friday that aims to deliver tough spending cuts to ward
off a deeper debt crisis, issued an emphatic denial in similar
words to those used by Barroso, who is himself Portuguese.
Barroso, speaking in Paris at the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD), was responding to a question
from a reporter on whether Portugal needed aid on the heels of
He was due to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy later on
Friday and said he had spoken in recent days to the leaders of
Germany, the EU Council, Eurogroup, International Monetary Fund
and the prime ministers of Portugal and Spain.
(Reporting by John Irish; Writing by Brian Love, editing by
Mike Peacock, John Stonestreet)