Portugal’s foreign minister has stepped down just one day after the finance minister handed in his resignation. Paulo Portas said he was opposed to the appointment of the finance minster’s austerity-focused successor.
Portas announced his departure in a written statement on Tuesday just 30 minutes before replacement Finance Minister Maria Luis Albuquerque was sworn into office.
The foreign minister, who leads the government’s junior coalition partner, the conservative-nationalist CDS-PP party, said his decision reflected his opposition to Albuquerque’s appointment.
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho’s choice of the successor was not “prudent and consensus-based,” Portas said in the statement, adding that remaining in the government would be “politically unsustainable.”
He said his decision was “irrevocable.”
Portas has openly criticized Portugal’s tough austerity policy introduced under an EU-International Monetary Fund bailout program, of which Albuquerque is a key proponent.
Former Treasury Secretary, Albuquerque was appointed on Monday following the shock resignation of Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, the main architect of the austerity measures.
ccp/kms (AFP, AP, dpa)