LISBON, Portugal (AP) -- Portugal's finance minister says his debt-stressed country's budget deficit will likely fall to below 5 percent this year from 9.8 percent in 2010.
But Vitor Gaspar says the sharp drop is largely due to the transfer to the Treasury of euro6 billion ($7.8 billion) in private banks' pension funds.
He said Tuesday that without the transfer the 2011 deficit would be around 7.5 percent — way off the target of 5.9 percent.
Portugal needed a euro78 billion bailout earlier this year as its high debt load pushed it close to bankruptcy.
The center-right government that came to power in June is enacting an austerity program of pay cuts and tax hikes through 2013 despite a recession and a record jobless rate of 12.9 percent.