Viewing cable 09LISBON364
Title: PORTUGAL ECONOMY MINISTER RESIGNS, FINANCE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09LISBON3642009-07-07 14:32:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lisbon
VZCZCXRO9039
RR RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLI #0364 1881432
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 071432Z JUL 09
FM AMEMBASSY LISBON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7734
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L LISBON 000364 
 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/WE:SHARTMANN 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2019 
TAGS: ECON EFIN PGOV PREL PO
SUBJECT: PORTUGAL ECONOMY MINISTER RESIGNS, FINANCE 
MINISTER TAKES OVER 
 
Classified By: Gary B. Applegarth, Pol-Econ Officer, Reasons 1.4 (b) an 
d (d). 
 
¶1.  (U) Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos was 
sworn in as Portugal's Economy Minister on July 6, replacing 
Manuel Pinho, who resigned on July 2 after making an 
insulting gesture toward Communist parliamentary leader 
Bernandino Soares during the "state of the nation" session in 
parliament.  Pinho made the "goat's horns" gesture in 
response to Soares' critical remarks about the government's 
handling of a struggling zinc mine in southern Portugal. 
Pinho said he regretted the gesture but Prime Minister 
Socrates accepted his resignation, calling Pinho's behavior 
"inexcusable." 
 
¶2.  (U) Teixeira dos Santos will lead both the Economy and 
Finance Ministries through the September elections.  Teixeira 
dos Santos is keeping the Economy Ministry's senior 
leadership intact and is not expected to make significant 
economic policy changes.  In an interview following his 
nomination for the post Teixeira dos Santos said he would 
continue to focus on necessary structural changes, renewable 
energy, improvements in the transportation sector, and 
support for small business. 
 
¶3.  (C) Comment:  While serving as Economy Minister Pinho 
became known for minor oratory gaffes and constant 
self-promotion, but this nationally-broadcasted gesture was 
so offensive as to demand serious consequences.  Additional 
government turmoil is one thing this Socialist-led government 
does not/not need in the runup to the September elections, so 
it is unlikely that major changes in economic policy will 
accompany the change in leadership.  Minister Pinho's display 
was an unfortunate lapse that could not be ignored, but his 
replacement by Teixeira dos Santos will do little to counter 
opposition parties' claims that the current government 
leadership is unfit to continue past September.  End comment. 
 
 
For more reporting from Embassy Lisbon and information about Portugal, 
please see our Intelink site: 
 
http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/portal:port ugal 
BALLARD