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Last week, Portugal's caretaker government signed up to a €78-billion ($115-billion U.S.) EU/IMF bailout, warning its terms would push it into recession this year and next. And on Monday, Standard and Poor's cut Greece's rating to B from BB-, dragging it further into junk territory over concerns that a debt restructuring is increasingly likely.

What impact will these developments have on the stability of the euro zone?

Eric Reguly is a Globe and Mail columnist and business correspondent based in Rome. He took reader questions in a live chat on Monday.

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Eric Reguly joined The Globe and Mail in November of 1997. He has worked for a number of publications, including the Times of London, The Financial Post in New York and London, England, the Financial Times of Canada, Alberta Report magazine and the London (Ontario) Free Press. Until April, 2007, when he became The Globe's European business correspondent, based in Rome, Eric wrote the paper's main business column from Toronto. He is a regular radio guest in Europe, Canada and the United States and makes speeches about business issues. Eric has won several awards for his work, including, in 2007, the Hyman Solomon Award for Excellence in Public Policy Journalism.

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