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Portuguese report Portuguese report
by Euro Reporter
2010-12-12 08:56:47
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Does not need international bailout

Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates says his country can solve its financial problems by itself and does not need an international bailout. In an interview published Saturday, Mr. Socrates said Portugal does not "have any problem" that would require it to ask the International Monetary Fund for assistance like Greece and Ireland already have done this year.

European financial analysts and policy makers have voiced fears that Portugal and Spain, because of their government budget deficits, may be the next countries that will be forced to seek aid from their European counterparts and the IMF.  As a result, the borrowing costs for the two governments have risen sharply. But Mr. Socrates said in an interview with the Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias that financial markets will eventually realize that Portugal is taking sufficient steps to control its deficit.  Like some other European countries, Portugal has adopted various austerity measures for 2011. It has increased taxes and cut the salaries of civil servants by 5 percent.

The Portuguese austerity measures are aimed at cutting its budget deficit from 7.3 percent of its overall economic production this year to 4.6 percent next year.  But the cuts in spending could also curb economic growth and increase the nation's 10.9 percent unemployment rate. Greek and Irish officials also said they did not need outside financial assistance before relenting and accepting the aid. But Mr. Socrates said his government "doesn't need this." He said Portugal does not "need anybody to come and tell us what we should do."


3rd for child health by Unicef

Portugal has been ranked in third place on a list of economically developed countries which compares access to health care for poorer children, according to a report published by United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). The report, entitled ‘The children left behind’ raises awareness of children who are at risk of not being included or protected by the healthy societies in which they live.

“Whether it’s in healthcare, education or material wealth, some children will always be far from average. The question is to understand how far from average they are?� said the report, which aims to answer the question by comparing the situation of children within the national average with those who are at the end of the line. Countries featured at the top of the list are those that were found to have the least amount of inequality between the poorest children and the national average.

Out of a total of 24 economically developed countries included in the study, Portugal came third in terms of healthcare, after Holland in first place and Norway in second place. Germany has been placed after Portugal and Switzerland is in fifth place on the list. Researchers used three indicators to uncover disparities; health complaints made by the children themselves, healthy eating habits and physical exercise. There is no data available yet to see how the current economic crisis has impacted on poor children, according to Unicef: “during hard times, the poorest children should be the first to be protected, not the last to be considered.�


Portugal Telecom delivers pay-TV control to smartphones & tablets

Portugal Telecom has launched a new app for users of its pay-TV service 'Meo' (delivered via IPTV and satellite) which enables them to use their smartphones and tablets to control their TV service. The new app, called Meo Remote, has all the capabilities of the normal remote control supplied with the service, including channel zapping, volume control, navigation screen, recordings, VOD access, fast forward, rewind, pause, EPG and more. 

Meo Remote is currently only available on smartphones and tablets running on Apple and Android operating systems, and also allows users to access additional functions on their smartphone or tablet computer which complement the on-screen content. Portugal Telecom currently has 769,000 customers for its pay-TV service Meo TV, which is launched in April 2008.

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