Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, who resigned from office on Tuesday (7), is considered one of the most experienced and stable acting heads of government in Europe. In his third term, for which he was elected for the first time in 2015, he led a majority government in Parliament at the head of the Socialist Party and ruled without the need for alliances.
Costa’s resignation was announced in a television speech, after police carried out a search and seizure operation at his home. The operation was part of an investigation by the Portuguese Public Ministry into an irregular scheme to explore for lithium and sell green hydrogen by the Portuguese government.
Costa’s resignation from his position was discussed at a meeting with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. Costa said that he ends his term “with his head held high” and that engaging in any illegal act “does not burden his conscience”, but he will not run for prime minister again.
Costa is a member of the Socialist Party, which lost support ahead of the 2022 elections. However, contrary to all research, the Portuguese was elected in January last year and did not need alliances to form the government, as he was able to lead the country alone.
In early 2023, Costa was criticized when he decided to keep the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing in the government, who was involved in a scandal linked to the state airline TAP. Portuguese resistance meant that opposition parties in May called on the president to dissolve parliament.
Portugal’s Prime Minister is the target of police searches and a PGR investigation
Thanks to the unprecedented agreement between the socialists, the radical left and the communists, which became known as “Giringonsa”, the former chancellor and former mayor of Lisbon came to power in 2015, after elections which he lost.
A lover of cuisine, cinema and fado, Costa has gained immense popularity. He took advantage of the economic recovery that the country witnessed during his first term, which lasted four years, to eliminate the austerity measures implemented by the right in exchange for aid to the Portuguese economy granted by the European Union in 2011.
But the socialist, a Benfica fan, married to a teacher and father of two children, continued cleaning up public accounts in Portugal, adjusting them to comply with European budget standards, and won the 2019 legislative elections.
Without an absolute majority, Costa kept Geringonsa in office until October 2021, when budget rejection prompted new elections, and Portugal’s longest-serving prime minister since the Carnation Revolution had to put his tenure on the line.
His former allies do not hide their distrust of the politician, and some saw him as an “obstacle” to a new alliance with the left. – Although he previously said that “everyone knows” that he is “a man of dialogue and compromise.”
The President of Portugal, who was Costa’s professor at the Faculty of Law in Lisbon, He once mocked his former student and his “chronic and somewhat uncomfortable optimism.” Costa responded by saying that he had “military optimism.”.
With his perseverance, Antonio Costa has built his career with the same patience he shows when assembling puzzles, his favorite hobby.
The politician was born on July 17, 1961 in Lisbon, the scion of a large family from Goa, a former sphere of Portuguese influence in India.
He grew up in the intellectual circles attended by his parents, the socialist journalist Maria Antonia Balla, and the communist writer Orlando da Costa.. His half-brother, Ricardo Costa, is seven years younger than him and is an influential journalist in Portugal.
At the age of 14, “Babush” (meaning “boy” in Konkani, the language of Goa) joined the Socialist Youth. He says that at that time he suffered more from his parents’ divorce than from the color of his skin.
Degree in law and political science
Costa graduated in law and political science, and became a lawyer in 1988. In 1995, at the age of 34, he was appointed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, a key position in the minority government headed by António Guterres, the current Secretary-General of the United Nations.. In 1999, he became the country’s Minister of Justice.
Soon after in the European Parliament. Costa returned Portugal In 2005 as Minister of the Interior, but left the government two years later to run for mayor of Lisbon.Where he took his first steps in the forefront of the Left Union and strengthened his popularity.
The position of mayor of the Portuguese capital also allowed him to distance himself from former Prime Minister José Socrates, who was removed from power in 2011 and later tried on corruption charges in November 2014, the year Costa rose to the top of the Socialist Party.
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