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Nonsense that Paris, Berlin pressing Portugal-source

PARIS, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Reports that the French and German governments are pressurising Portugal to accept government aid are “nonsense”, a French government source said on Monday.

The source, who asked not to be identified, said that the economic situation in Portugal was not as severe as in Greece or Ireland, and the issue would not be specifically on the agenda of the next meeting of euro zone finance ministers next week.

“It is nonsense to say that France and Germany are pressuring Portugal to take an aid programme. These are clearly just rumours,” the source said.

“Portugal is not in the same situation as Ireland or Greece ... The country has a capacity for self-correction which is much greater than those other two,” he added.

A senior euro zone source told Reuters on Sunday that Germany, France and other euro zone countries were pushing Portugal to seek an EU-IMF assistance programme, following Greece and Ireland, in a bid to prevent contagion spreading to much larger Spain, the fourth-biggest economy in the euro area. [ID:nLDE7090U2] (Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey)