LISBON Portugal is on the front line of Europe's fight against the economic and debt crisis, carrying out its fiscal adjustment with "enormous courage" and its European partners should stand by it, Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho said on Monday.
"Every shock that hits Europe comes to Portugal with unbridled violence because we are the first line of defense. There is great dignity and enormous courage in that fight," he told a German-Portuguese business conference. "We hope our European friends are equally firm in the rear guard and will provide their support."
Passos Coelho spoke after visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany would continue to show solidarity with Portugal.
(Reporting By Daniel Alvarenga, writing by Andrei Khali, editing by Axel Bugge)