Portugal backs Ireland's early IMF pay back bid, says it is too soon for decision to follow

Portugal's prime minister says he supports Ireland's bid for an early pay back of bailout loans to the International Monetary Fund, but added his country could only take a similar initiative if market conditions further improved.

Pedro Passos Coelho, visiting Greece Tuesday, said it was "rational" for Ireland to seek early repayment of its IMF loans as it could now borrow money at better rates on the bond markets.

Portugal earlier this year became the second eurozone member to complete its international bailout program after Ireland — leaving Greece and Cyprus.

Coelho held talks in Athens with conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and expressed support for Greece's cost-cutting reforms taken during a six-year recession.