Europe

Portugal repays half of IMF loan, calls it sign of health

Portugal's government says it has paid back to the International Monetary Fund half the money it received from the institution as part of a bailout in 2011, and says the early repayment is evidence the country is financially healthy again.

The Finance Ministry said Monday it last week returned to the IMF 1.7 billion euros ($1.8 billion) — an amount that was due for repayment in 2019. That means Portugal has already paid back 13 billion euros to the IMF.

Portugal neared bankruptcy in 2011 amid the eurozone financial crisis, when it had less than 400 million euros in the Treasury. Its European Union partners joined the IMF to grant it a 78 billion-euro rescue.

Paying back its loans early saves Portugal interest that is due on the loan.