Merck KGaA (MKGAF.PK) to Portugal: Pay Bills or Lose Investment  
7/10/2012 7:05:10 AM

German pharma giant Merck is threatening to withdraw millions of euros of investment from Portugal – because the state-run hospitals are on average more than 500 days behind in paying their bills. Now the firm is threatening to pull out of future research projects worth double-digit millions of euros. “Our investment in research is planned for the long-term,” Merck’s Portugal manager Fritz Sacher told Monday’s Financial Times Deutschland newspaper. "Mutual trust is an important foundation for this," he added. "But the Portuguese state's unwillingness to pay undermines this trust."