Sao Tome and Principe: Portugal to cancel archipelago’s debt “very soon”

2 July 2008

Maputo, Mozambique, 2 July – Portuguese Finance Minister, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, said Tuesday in Maputo that Portugal would “very soon” cancel the bilateral debt owed to it by Sao Tome and Principe.

Teixeira dos Santos said that that same decision would be extended to other countries with Portuguese as an official language within a framework of international initiatives involving “highly indebted countries.”

“Within a few weeks I will be in Sao Tome at a similar ceremony Replying to a question from a member of parliament of the Renamo opposition party, the minister said that at the end of 1998 Mozambique’s foreign debt had stood at US$6 billion.

Teixeira dos Santos added that debt pardon for other Portuguese-speaking countries would depend on those states meeting the criteria set by the international initiatives to which Lisbon has subscribed.

The cancellation of the debt of Portuguese-speaking countries such as Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe was achieved, Teixeira dos Santos said, after Portugal was able to reduce its budget deficit. (macauhub)