Antonio Costa became Prime Minister of Portugal


Who: Antonio Costa
What:  Prime Minister of Portugal
When: 27 November 2015

Portugal’s president on Tuesday appointed anti-austerity Socialist leader António Costa as prime minister in a move that ends weeks of political turmoil but opens the door to a period of economic uncertainty.

The ascent of 54-year-old Mr. Costa, the former mayor of Lisbon, makes Portugal the second eurozone country this year after Greece to rebel against a belt-tightening recipe imposed on troubled Southern European economies by the European Union’s executive arm. Greece’s rebellion, which started with the election of far-left Syriza party in January, has been short-lived, with the government now imposing austerity measures to meet the terms of its latest EU bailout.

Mr. Costa, who has formed a parliamentary alliance with three euroskeptic far-left parties, will also face challenges making good on his pledges to increase public wages and unfreeze pensions. Such was the concern of the Portuguese political establishment over the proposals that President Aníbal Cavaco Silva on Monday insisted that Mr. Costa adhere to six conditions, including maintaining a tight budget and strong banking system, before he named him as prime minister.