Portuguese Prime Minister Resigns Following Corruption Probe

Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa revealed his decision to step down on Tuesday, following his entanglement in a corruption probe related to the allocation of energy-related contracts.

“The duties of prime minister are not compatible with any suspicion of my integrity,” Costa told a press conference after briefly speaking with President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa earlier on Tuesday

“In these circumstances, I have presented my resignation to the president of the Republic,” he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, reports from Portuguese media indicated that various ministries and Antonio Costa’s offices were subjected to investigations.

Subsequently, public prosecutors announced the indictment of Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba and the issuance of an arrest warrant for Costa’s chief of staff. The investigation pertains to alleged financial mismanagement, political corruption, and improper influence.

This inquiry encompasses several areas, including lithium mining concessions in the north of Portugal, a hydrogen production project, and a data center planned by Start Campus in Sines, a town located approximately 100 kilometers south of Lisbon. Concerns about flight risk and the potential for ongoing illegal activities led to arrest warrants for the mayor of Sines and two executives from Start Campus.

Furthermore, the president of the executive board of the Portuguese Agency for the Protection of the Environment (APA) has also been indicted. Notably, APA had previously approved a lithium mining project, a crucial resource for electric battery production, amid opposition from environmental groups and parts of the local population.

Portugal possesses significant lithium reserves in Europe and is a prominent producer on the continent, although its current lithium output primarily serves the ceramic and glass industries. Antonio Costa, a member of Portugal’s Socialist Party, has held the position of prime minister since late 2015 and secured re-election in January 2022. However, his popularity waned in the wake of scandals related to the national airline.


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