Low growth and huge current account deficits have characterised the Portuguese economy over the past decade.
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Europe has been beset by an interrelated banking crisis and sovereign debt crisis. Bond spreads faced by Greece and Ireland, and to a lesser extent Portugal followed by Spain, have increased. This paper explores these issues from the perspective of financial markets, focusing mainly on the four countries in the frontline of these pressures: Greece and Portugal, on the one hand, where the problems are primarily fiscal in nature; and