Europe

EU keeps close eye on fragile Portugal as it goes for growth

Europe's top official for economic affairs says he is monitoring Portugal's new government closely to make sure the debt-heavy country's financial troubles don't return as it tries to shift its policy focus from austerity to growth.

Pierre Moscovici says he will be working with Lisbon officials through mid-April, and in May the European Commission will decide whether Portugal needs to make additional spending cuts this year.

Moscovici said during a visit to Lisbon on Thursday he wants Portugal to turn into a "success story" after it needed a 78 billion-euro ($88 billion) bailout in 2011. He noted it still faces risks amid frail growth at home and in much of the rest of Europe.

A center-left Socialist government is reversing some of the cutbacks made after the bailout.