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António Luís Santos da Costa GCIH (born 17 July 1961) is a Portuguese lawyer and politician serving as the 119th and current Prime Minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015. Previously, he was Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from 1995 to 1999, Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002, Minister of Internal Administration from 2005 to 2007, and Mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as Secretary General of the Socialist Party in September 2014.[1]


António Costa

António Costa em 2017.jpg
Prime Minister of Portugal
Assumed office
26 November 2015
PresidentAníbal Cavaco Silva
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
Preceded byPedro Passos Coelho
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
Assumed office
22 November 2014
PresidentCarlos César
Preceded byAntónio José Seguro
Leader of the Opposition
In office
22 November 2014 – 26 November 2015
Prime MinisterPedro Passos Coelho
Preceded byAntónio José Seguro
Succeeded byPedro Passos Coelho
Mayor of Lisbon
In office
1 August 2007 – 6 April 2015
Preceded byCarmona Rodrigues
Succeeded byFernando Medina
Minister of the Internal Administration
In office
12 March 2005 – 17 May 2007
Prime MinisterJosé Sócrates
Preceded byDaniel Sanches
Succeeded byRui Pereira
Minister of Justice
In office
25 October 1999 – 6 April 2002
Prime MinisterAntónio Guterres
Preceded byJosé Vera Jardim
Succeeded byCeleste Cardona
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
In office
28 October 1995 – 25 October 1999
Prime MinisterAntónio Guterres
Preceded byLuís Filipe Menezes
Succeeded byLuís Marques Mendes
Member of the Assembly of the Republic
Assumed office
23 October 2015
ConstituencyLisbon
In office
6 October 1991 – 13 June 2004
ConstituencyLisbon
Member of the European Parliament
In office
20 July 2004 – 11 March 2005
ConstituencyPortugal
Personal details
Born
António Luís Santos da Costa

(1961-07-17) 17 July 1961 (age 58)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political partySocialist Party
Spouse(s)
Fernanda Tadeu (m. 1987)
RelationsRicardo Costa (brother)
Children2
ParentsOrlando da Costa
Maria Antónia Palla
ResidenceSão Bento Mansion
Alma materUniversity of Lisbon
Signature
WebsiteOfficial website

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Costa was born in 1961 in São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon, the son of writer Orlando da Costa (born in Maputo to a family of Goan extraction) and of journalist Maria Antónia Palla.[2]

Costa graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon in the 1980s, when he first entered politics and was elected as a Socialist deputy to the municipal council. He completed the mandatory military service in 1987[3] and later practiced law briefly from 1988, before entering politics full-time.[4]

Political careerEdit

Costa's first role in a Socialist government was as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs under Prime Minister António Guterres between 1997 and 1999. He was Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002.[4]

Costa was a Member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party (PES), heading the list for the 2004 European elections after the dramatic death of top candidate António de Sousa Franco. On 20 July 2004 he was elected as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament. He also served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.

Costa resigned as an MEP on 11 March 2005 to become Minister of State and Internal Administration in the government of José Sócrates following the 2005 national elections.

Mayor of Lisbon, 2007–2015Edit

António Costa resigned all government offices in May 2007 to become his party's candidate for the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal's capital city. He was elected as Lisbon's mayor on 15 July 2007 and reelected in 2009 and 2013, with a bigger majority each time. In April 2015 he resigned his duties as a mayor, while he was already the Secretary General of the Socialist Party and the party's candidate for Prime Minister, so that he could prepare his campaign for the October 2015 general elections.[5]

Candidate for Prime Minister, 2014–2015Edit

In September 2014, the Socialist Party chose Costa as its candidate to be Prime Minister of Portugal in the 2015 national elections; in a ballot to select the party's candidate, gaining nearly 70 percent of the votes, he defeated party leader António José Seguro, who announced his resignation after the result.[6] By April 2015, he stepped down as mayor to focus on his campaign.[7]

During the campaign, Costa pledged to ease back on austerity and give more disposable income back to households.[8] He proposed to boost incomes, hiring and growth in order to cut the budget deficits while scrapping austerity measures and cutting taxes, asserting that would still allow deficits to reduce in line with the Euro convergence criteria.[9] Also, he pledged to roll back a hugely unpopular hike in value added tax on restaurants and reinstate some benefits for civil servants.[7]

Prime Minister of Portugal, 2015–presentEdit

On 4 October 2015, the conservative Portugal Ahead coalition that had ruled the country since 2011 came first in the elections winning 38.6% of the vote, while the Socialist Party came second with 32.3%. Passos Coelho was reappointed Prime Minister the following days, but António Costa formed an alliance with the other parties on the left (the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Ecologist Party "The Greens"), which altogether constitute a majority in Parliament, and toppled the government on 10 November (the People–Animals–Nature party also voted in favour of the motion of rejection presented by the left alliance). After toppling the conservative government, Costa was chosen as the new Prime Minister of Portugal by President Cavaco Silva on 24 November and assumed office on 26 November.[5][10]

Since coming to power, Costa's government has managed to combine fiscal discipline with measures to support growth, while reversing most of the austerity policies imposed by the previous center-right administration during the 2010-13 debt crisis.[11]

By March 2017, polls put support for Costa's Socialists at 42 percent, up 10 points from their share of the vote in the 2015 election and close to a level that would give them a majority in parliament were the country to vote again.[12] In the 2017 local elections, Costa further consolidated power in Portugal as his party captured a record haul of 158 town halls out of the country's 308 cities and towns; nationwide, the Socialists’ vote share topped 38 percent, again up from their result in the 2015 parliamentary election.[13]

During his tenure, Portugal experienced its deadliest wildfires ever, firstly in Pedrogão Grande in June 2017 (65 dead) and later across the country in October 2017 (41 dead).[14] In October 2017, the opposition People's Party (CDS) launched a motion of no-confidence in Costa's government over its failure to prevent the loss of human lives in the lethal Iberian wildfires, the second such disaster in four months; the motion was largely symbolic as the minority Socialist government continued to be backed in parliament by two left-wing parties.[15] In early 2019, Costa's government survived another opposition motion of no confidence lodged over a wave of public sector strikes.[16]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1987, Costa married Fernanda Maria Gonçalves Tadeu, a teacher.[4] The couple have a son and a daughter.

Costa is an avid Benfica fan,[17][18] being a frequent attendant to the games as Lisbon mayor, as opposed to Sporting Lisbon's. He also accompanied Benfica to both Europa League finals, in 2013 and 2014.

RecognitionEdit

Civil awards and decorationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ António Costa's Biography on the Portuguese Government's official webpage Archived 2015-12-08 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Then Came A Gandhi Archived 2014-11-12 at the Wayback Machine, outlookindia.com, retrieved 10 September 2015
  3. ^ "António Costa" (PDF). Jornal de Campanha — Socialist Party. August 2015. p. 3. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Axel Bugge (October 4, 2015), Portuguese Socialist leader Costa candidate for PM Archived 2015-11-16 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  5. ^ a b Agence France-Presse (25 November 2015), Portugal gets Antonio Costa as new PM after election winner only lasted 11 days Archived 2016-12-24 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian.
  6. ^ Andrei Khalip (September 28, 2014), Portugal opposition Socialists choose mayor of Lisbon as candidate for PM in next year's election Archived 2015-11-25 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  7. ^ a b Axel Bugge (April 1, 2015), Lisbon Socialist mayor steps down to campaign for Portugal PM Archived 2015-10-04 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  8. ^ Axel Bugge (September 18, 2015), Portugal election race still in dead heat, no majority win: poll Archived 2015-10-04 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  9. ^ Andrei Khalip (September 17, 2015), Portuguese PM and Socialist opponent clash over austerity as election nears Archived 2015-10-17 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  10. ^ Patricia Kowsmann and Matt Moffett (November 24, 2015). "Socialist Leader António Costa Is Named as Portugal's Prime Minister". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2015-11-24. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  11. ^ Andrei Khalip (April 13, 2018), Portugal government targets budget surplus in 2020, irks allies Archived 2018-04-15 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  12. ^ Axel Bugge (March 31, 2017), As Europe left struggles, Portugal's alliance wins over voters and Brussels Archived 2017-06-21 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  13. ^ Paul Ames (October 2, 2017), Portugal’s Socialists toast ‘biggest ever’ election win Archived 2017-10-03 at the Wayback Machine Politico Europe.
  14. ^ "Portugal and Spain wildfires: Dozens dead and injured". BBC. Archived from the original on 2017-10-16. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  15. ^ Axel Bugge and Andrei Khalip (October 17, 2017), Portugal's government faces no-confidence vote over forest fires Archived 2017-12-27 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
  16. ^ Andrei Khalip and Mark Heinrich (February 20, 2019), Portuguese PM withstands no confidence motion in parliament Reuters.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-18. Retrieved 2018-07-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2016-01-01.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Archived from the original on 2013-08-17. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Estrangeiras". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  21. ^ Presidencia del Gobierno: "Real Decreto 577/2016, de 25 de noviembre, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III al Excelentísimo Señor Antonio Luis Santos da Costa, Primer Ministro de la República Portuguesa" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish) (286): 82949. 26 November 2016. ISSN 0212-033X. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-03-06. Retrieved 2017-03-05.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Luís Filipe Menezes
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
1995–1999
Succeeded by
Luís Marques Mendes
Preceded by
José Vera Jardim
Minister of Justice
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Celeste Cardona
Preceded by
Daniel Sanches
Minister of the Internal Administration
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Rui Pereira
Preceded by
Carmona Rodrigues
Mayor of Lisbon
2007–2015
Succeeded by
Fernando Medina
Preceded by
António José Seguro
Leader of the Opposition
2014–2015
Succeeded by
Pedro Passos Coelho
Preceded by
Pedro Passos Coelho
Prime Minister of Portugal
2015–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
António José Seguro
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
2014–present
Incumbent
Academic offices
Preceded by
Jean-Claude Juncker
Invocation Speaker of the College of Europe
2017
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