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LISBON German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised on Monday the resolve of the Portuguese people to deal with the debt crisis that engulfed their country and forced it to seek an international bailout.

"I sense a great sense of determination here in Portugal to overcome this difficult phase," she said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho on her first visit to Lisbon since the crisis erupted.

"I know that it's very hard for some people - unemployment is high, especially among young people, so Germany wants to support Portugal in particular with professional training for young people."

She said Germany had shown solidarity so far and would continue to do so in future.

(Reporting by Lisbon bureau; Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Gareth Jones)

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