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IMF Approves $36.8 Billion For Portugal Bailout

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved providing Portugal with 26 billion euros, or $36.8 billion, as part of a rescue package with the European Union to help Portugal overcome its debt crisis and economic problems.

The IMF-EU deal for Portugal totals 78 billion euros, or $111 billion, and was approved by European finance ministers earlier this week.

The IMF is providing about one-third of the total, and the EU two-thirds.

The IMF said in a statement that the rescue package is designed to give Portugal what it called "some breathing space" from borrowing on financial markets, while the government implements policy steps needed to get the economy moving back toward growth.

In return for the bailout, Portuguese authorities have agreed to implement austerity measures and economic reforms.

Portugal is the third euro-zone country in the past year to receive a multi-billion-euro EU-IMF bailout, following Greece and Ireland.

compiled from agency reports