Today's Portugal is better prepared to face the future, says finance minister

FILE PHOTO: Portugal's Finance Minister Joao Leao puts on his face mask during a debate to vote on a supplementary budget at the parliament during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Lisbon, Portugal June 17, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal is better prepared to face up to future challenges than it was during the global financial crisis thanks to five years of economic growth above the eurozone average, falling unemployment and a first budget surplus in 45 years in 2019, Finance Minister Joao Leao said on Monday.

“Today we have a more solid banking system and more demanding regulatory framework... Portugal today is better prepared to face the future,” he said at an event to mark the appointment of the new central bank chief Mario Centeno.

Reporting by Sergio Goncalves; Editing by Nathan Allen and Inti Landauro