LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal cannot be associated with Greece's mounting troubles after sacrifices and efforts made to overcome the country's debt crisis and improve its financial and economic situation, Deputy Prime Minister Paulo Portas said on Monday.
Portas said in a televised speech that after Greece's referendum on creditor proposals, "it is now up to Greece to make alternative, viable proposals that would be acceptable to all". He said the will of Greek voters has to be respected "to the same extent as the will of all the other euro zone states".
"Portuguese have made a lot of effort to beat bankruptcy and do not deserve to be associated with the Greek situation," he said.
"The government has to defend the interests of Portugal and Portuguese in the first place and, this, now, means saying and repeating and explaining that Portugal is not Greece... Portugal is not in trouble like Greece."
Reporting By Andrei Khalip