Will Portugal be next?

Do editor de economia da BBC, Robert Peston:

"Obviously the important question now is whether the European Union's rescue of Ireland has sealed in the infection, allowing the rest of the eurozone economy to recover, or whether it simply provides temporary respite. To put it more bluntly, will Portugal be next?

Portugal insists it can muddle through. But that is not being taken for granted by the European politicians and officials to whom I've spoken in the past 24 hours, because although Portugal's banks are not as bloated or as weak as Ireland's, its private-sector economy is arguably less robust.

For what it's worth, if Portugal were to go cap-in-hand for loans to the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF), the UK would be less prominent in the rescue, officials tell me - for the self-interested reasons that Portugal is rather less intertwined into the British body politic/economic than Ireland

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