Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa has announced his resignation. after being implicated in a corruption investigation and illegal interest-taking This announcement comes just hours after his chief of staff and one of his ministers were charged and taken into custody, and a search was carried out at his official residence. António Costa.
Antonio Costa, charged with corruption, tenders his resignation
The announcement of António Costa's resignation was made in a tense political climate. The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has accepted the resignation, and will today convene the leaders of the parties represented in Parliament to discuss the next steps, which could include the holding of a general election. new elections in 30 days at the latest.
The trigger for this political crisis was a search of the Prime Minister's official residence by the Portuguese police, and the arrest of his chief of staff, Vítor Escária. This action is part of an investigation into the awarding of concessions for lithium prospecting in the north of the country and a green hydrogen production megaproject in Sines. The Ministries of the Environment and Infrastructure were also raided. Several key figures were charged, including Costa's chief of staff and the Minister of Infrastructure.
António Costa a denied any involvement in reprehensible acts. However, he stated that the existence of the investigation and the seriousness of the accusations made it impossible for him to remain in office.
The resignation marks the end of an era for Portugal. António Costa had been Prime Minister since 2015, and his party, the Socialist Party, had won an absolute majority of seats in Parliament in 2022. Nevertheless, his government had been rocked by a series of scandals, and many members of his executive had resigned for various reasons in less than two years.
This corruption scandal has national and international repercussions, as António Costa was considered one of the favorites to take over the presidency of the European Council from 2024, a position currently held by Charles Michel. This succession is now open, marking a major political turning point for Portugal and the European Union.