Troika: Portugal program on track, clears review (by William L. Watts)
FRANKFURT (MarketWatch) -- Portugal's bailout program is on track, but challenges remain, the country's troika of international lenders -- the European Commission, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank -- said Tuesday after completing a third quarterly review of the country's economic program. The review should clear the way for the disbursement of a 14.9 billion euro ($20 billion) tranche of aid to the country under the 78 billion euro rescue package approved last year. In a joint statement, the troika said the review found the country's 2012 deficit target of 4.5% of gross domestic product is within reach, provided the economy avoids any unexpected hits. The European Commission last week forecast the Portuguese economy to contract 3.3% in 2012 after a 1.5% contraction in 2011.