Portugal passes bailout test, gets more funding

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese officials say the country has passed its latest bailout test and qualified for around 5.5 billion euros ($7.5 billion) in further funding from creditors.

Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas said Thursday that bailout inspectors concluded the government is complying with the demands of Portugal’s financial rescue agreement.

Portugal needed a 78 billion-euro bailout in 2011 when it was engulfed by the eurozone debt crisis. In return, Portugal promised spending cuts and economic reforms, and quarterly disbursements are conditional on its compliance.

The country is stuck in recession, however, with the jobless rate at 16.5 percent.

Portugal is supposed to start borrowing on financial markets again in the middle of next year, but three major international ratings agencies still classify its credit worthiness at junk status.

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