Portugal Stocks Up on Aid Plea but Outlook Unclear

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The European Union and the International Monetary Fund are working on a rescue package for Portugal that some experts estimate could cost close to $130 billion.

However, the government in Lisbon has yet to formally ask for a bailout.

Portugal's stocks rose Thursday on an anticipated plea for help, but economic uncertainties kept borrowing costs punishingly high.

Portugal's crisis came after its credit ratings were downgraded because of its huge debt. Some of its European partners expressed anger over why the Lisbon government failed to ask for help sooner.

"There is so much obscurity in this and there are so many things that have been handled badly, so first these things have to be sorted out," Sweden's Finance Minster Anders Borg said.

"In this difficult situation, we will end up with complex and arduous solutions because it isn't possible to create a complete program if you don't have a government. And instead it will be about forming different bridge solutions," Borg told reporters in Stockholm. "This means they have put the surrounding world in a very awkward situation."

The Portuguese government says it doesn't know yet when it will send its formal request for a bailout to European authorities.

Greece and Ireland have already received financial bailouts. On an Ireland business blog, the London Guardian reported Thursday that a former deputy director of the International Monetary Fund has predicted Ireland will need a second bailout in 2013 when the current IMF rescue package runs out.

"The plot in Greece and Portugal sounds an awful lot like the same plot that's going on in the United States. But the characters have different names," one economist for Wells Fargo Bank told the newspaper.

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