The central bank said the debt hit €231.9 billion in September.

The out-going government’s programme said it intended to reduce public debt from the 130.2% seen at the end of last year to 125.2% at the end of this year, a more optimistic outlook than international creditors.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) anticipates that Portugal will reach the end of this year with public debt of 127.8% of GDP, while the European Commission (EC) reckons it is more likely going to be 128.2%.