BRUSSELS, April 25 Portugal will tell euro zone
finance ministers on May 5 if it wants a precautionary credit
line from the euro zone bailout fund ESM to ease its return to
markets, a senior EU official said on Friday.
Portugal will exit its 78 billion euro bailout programme on
May 17. Ireland, which exited its bailout late last year,
decided not to apply for a credit line because its borrowing
costs on the market were low enough on a wave of renewed
investor interest in euro zone periphery bonds.
The official indicated that with bond markets being so
optimistic, Portugal might decide not to apply.
"We are all profiting from great optimism in markets. One
needs to make use of the very favourable conditions," the
If Lisbon were to ask after all, the application would take
several weeks to process as it would have to get parliamentary
approval in several euro zone countries, including Germany.
"It is a lengthy process, which takes a couple of weeks,
but, as the name precautionary suggests, there is no sense of
urgency around it," the official said.
A second official taking part in the preparations for the
meeting of finance ministers on May 5, said that given
Portugal's recent successful bond auction, a cash buffer and
good economic performance, a request for a credit line was
(Reporting by Jan Strupczewski and Martin Santa Editing by