Prime Minister Mario Soares of Portugal arrives in Washington Wednesday for a visit designed largely to drum up crucial support for a much-needed $1.5 billion international monetary fund loan.
The Socialist Prime Minister will be discussing general political and military questions with President Carter and his top advisers. Uppermost on the list of priorities, however is the delicate matter of the multilateral loan that is sorely needed to shore up a massive balance of payments deficit and strengthen an Economy shattered by the political turbulence of 1974 and 1975.
Portugal's economic troubles have forced soares to turn repeatedly to his friends and acquaintances abroad and in recent months have made him a much-traveled man.
Congress has already approved an allocation of $550 million, the United State's 40 per cent share of the consortium loan originally devised by former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
Japan and the Western European powers had been expected to contribute the rest but so far have shown little enthusiasm. The European Economic Community has already given Portugal $1.2 billion worth of help in central bank loans, project loans or purchase credits and is reportedly reluctant to make further allocations.
Japan also appears to be dragging its feet and Soares is expected to ask Carter to use his influence to persuade perspective contributors to help out. While useful $550 million will not be enough.
Soares has said that because of Portugal's shaky economic situation, democracy there could be jeopardized if the loan fails to materialize.
The government decided last night to use riot squad police to foreibly remove from the premises of the Marriott corporation 46 workers protesting their dismissal. That action was seen as part of an attempt to reassure American businessmen about local la-BOR CONDITIONS.
During his visit here Soares will be meeting with private American bankers and businessmen with interests in Portugal in an attempt to bolster their confidence in the country's future.
Portugal's foreign invesment code is now being revised to give firmer guarantees for investors and liberalize provisions for profits and capital export.
The Marriott corporation, which for [WORD ILLEGIBEL], has supplies food and cleaning services for [WORD ILLEGIBLE] , has been losing money because of declining international tourism. The hoetl and catering workers' union gave its consent for the layoffs, as did the Portuguese Minister of Labor which must be consulted on such matters.
The calling in of police indicates the authorities intend to take tough action against recalcitrant labor after a long period of laissez-faire.