Europe

IMF takes a cool tone with Portugal's anti-austerity gov't

The International Monetary Fund isn't very impressed by Portugal's new anti-austerity government.

The IMF says it is "regrettable" that a recent reversal of government workers' pay cuts wasn't accompanied by fundamental reforms of public-sector working practices. It adds that the center-left Socialist government needs to establish "realistic targets that are underpinned by concrete measures" to cut debt.

An IMF report Thursday acknowledged the government has "ambitious goals" to bring the country's spending under control but says its plans lack detail. It also notes the government needs to quickly improve its budget management and transparency.

Even so, the IMF predicted a budget deficit this year close to 3 percent of GDP — the target set by the European Union.

Portugal needed a 78 billion-euro ($86.7 billion) international bailout in 2011.