The Portuguese President hints at the appointment of Antonio Costa as President of the European Council – Euractiv FR

The Portuguese President hints at the appointment of Antonio Costa as President of the European Council – Euractiv FR

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has hinted at the possibility of former Socialist Prime Minister António Costa traveling to Brussels to take over as President of the European Council, with his corruption trial faltering in the courts.

“I have a feeling that it is increasingly likely that there will be a Portuguese member of the European Council this autumn in Brussels.”Mr. Rebelo de Souza told reporters on Wednesday (April 17).

The president had previously named Mr Costa as a serious candidate for the position, saying in December 2023 that he hoped he could do so. “To be able to get a place in Europe” In the role currently held by Charles Michel.

He added that assigning this role to Costa would allow the former prime minister to continue doing so “He does what he does best.”

Mr. Rebelo de Sousa's position was supported by Nicola Schmidt, head of the European Socialists' party list for the European elections scheduled for June, in March. Mr. Schmidt said Mr. Costa could “Hold important positions” At the European level, especially at the level of the President of the European Council.

However, there seems to be no guarantee that Costa's path to one of the EU's most important positions will be smooth. In November 2023, Costa resigned as Prime Minister after police raided his official residence as part of a corruption investigation.

The investigation focused on corruption allegations related to several hydrogen and lithium projects in the country, including misuse of funds, active and passive bribery and influence peddling involving political figures.

See also  OM: Tavares' first dream! - football

Although it was later reported that prosecutors had incorrectly recorded recordings of phone calls mentioning Antonio Costa's name, confusing him with Economy Minister Antonio Costa Silva, the damage had already been done.

Although Mr. Costa said so “With a clear conscience” And “Complete confidence in justice”He resigned, declaring that the duties of Prime Minister were not compatible with any suspicion of his integrity.

Mr. Costa was serving a third consecutive term as Prime Minister after obtaining an absolute majority in snap elections held in January 2022. Following his resignation, a new government took power and Prime Minister Luis Montenegro was appointed at the beginning of April 2024.

Mr. Costa has not been formally charged with anything.

Meanwhile, the legal case known as “Process impactMr Costa's involvement continued and last week he was transferred from the Public Prosecutor to the Central Department of Investigations and Criminal Procedure.

The Lisbon Court of Appeal then rejected the prosecutor's appeal, mitigating the coercive measures against the defendants, who included Antonio Costa's former chief of staff as well as a former advisor and friend.

The court decided to reject the Public Prosecutor’s appeal and approve the appeals submitted by the defendants. At issue in these proceedings were the coercive measures imposed on five individual defendants and one corporate defendant, which the Public Prosecutor requested to escalate and the defendants requested their dismissal.refers to the decision of the Lisbon Court of Appeal, as reported by him Losa.

The Court of Appeal also found this “The observed facts do not in themselves relate to any type of criminal offence.”Which means that it ruled out proving the crime of abuse of influence.

See also  Zuhair Fadl, herói sagrado de Portugal

The president refused to comment on the latest court ruling, saying: “I will not comment on the court decisions, but I will repeat in another way the comment I made previously which is more political.”said Mr Rebelo de Sousa, again pointing to the possibility of Costa playing a role within the EU.

The possibility of Costa heading to Brussels has been discussed for months, but it will be a race against time to clear his name of any links to the alleged irregularities before the top position within the council becomes unavailable.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Germano Álvares

"Desbravador de cerveja apaixonado. Álcool alcoólico incurável. Geek de bacon. Viciado em web em geral."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *