Political crisis in Portugal saw ECB support for banks hit highest level since 2012

The European Central Bank increased its lending to Portuguese banks to €50.1bn in July from €49.4bn in July – the highest since December.

This was the month a political crisis gripped the country, triggered by the resignation of CDS-PP leader Paulo Portas from his post as foreign minister, and later reinstated as deputy prime minister.

Prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho's handling of the crisis has earned him support from voters, with polls showing him as the only main party leader whose approval rating increased since, and voters showing more support for his Social Democrat party after a long period of decline. CDS-PP, by comparison, has seen its ratings plummet.

ECB funding for Portuguese banks began in 2010 as they were frozen out of the financial markets, and peaked at €60.1bn in June 2012.