Portugal’s new Socialist government sworn in

Lisbon, Nov 27 (IANS) Portugal’s new government led by Socialist Party (PS) leader Antonio Costa was sworn in on Thursday by President Anibal Cavaco Silva here.

The new government consists of 17 ministers and 41 secretaries of state, among whom Justice Minister Francisca Van Dunem has become the first black female minister in Portuguese history, XInhua news agency reported.

At the swearing in ceremony President Cavaco Silva said the new government, the 21st since the establishment of democracy following the 1974 carnation revolution, resulted from “an unprecedented solution”.

He said his doubts over some points included in agreements the PS reached with the Left Bloc, Portuguese Communist Party and Green Party, which are essential to the government’s political stability and durability, still remain although efforts have been made.

He emphasised that the top priority for the government is to create job opportunities, promote economic growth and fulfil international commitments.

Costa in his speech pledged that his government will be “moderate” in action, saying it was not a time for radicalisation. He also stressed his respect for Portugal’s commitments to the eurozone and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The previous centre-right minority government was sworn in on October 30 but was ousted in a parliamentary vote of motion by the then main opposition PS and its leftist alliance only 11 days later, making it the shortest-lived government since a bloodless coup on April 25, 1974 which turned Portugal into a democracy.

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