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Bank crisis further rattles Portugal economy

A man walks past the Banco Espirito Santo headquarters in Lisbon on July 10, 2014Portuguese Economy Minister Antonio Pires de Lima admitted on Monday that a crisis engulfing the giant Banco Espirito Santo group could affect the country’s recovery, but insisted Portugal’s “upturn is stronger”. “The crisis in the Espirito Santo group will not do us good, but the recovery is stronger and it is there to stay,” he told journalists. The turmoil at Portugal’s largest lender comes at a delicate time for the country, which has just come out of a joint EU-IMF rescue programme despite a surprise drop of 0.6% in its GDP in the first three months of the year. Many analysts fear the knock-on effects of the crisis could further undermine Portugal’s faltering economy, one of the weakest in the eurozone.

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