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Another Portuguese government member fired in latest hiring scandal

On Thursday (5 January), a new Portuguese government official was fired. This is a huge embarrassment for the Socialist government, which is currently under severe criticism for its vetting process following a series scandals and resignations.

Although Antonio Costa, Socialist leader, won the absolute majority of seats at Parliament last year, the government has had a difficult time with 11 ministers leaving their posts and secretaries being accused of misconduct or using questionable practices.

According to the Correio da Manha newspaper, Carla Pereira was elected secretary of state for agriculture on Wednesday. In corruption investigations against her husband, a former mayor, she allegedly had her bank account taken.

Many opposition parties demanded that she be fired. Americo Pereira, her husband stated that only he was being investigated and not his wife.


Although she initially was told by the Agriculture Ministry that she couldn’t leave her job as she wasn’t being charged with any crime, they later stated that she had resigned. This was quickly accepted.

Pereira was not available for comment.

After a backlash against a large severance payment received from TAP, the state-owned airline TAP’s new Treasury Secretary, Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos left in December. This was the minister’s responsibility. The secretary also resigned.


Miguel Alves , Costa’s right-hand man, was formally charged by public prosecutor with malfeasance in the period he was mayor from 2015-16. He resigned on November. Alves denied any wrongdoing.

Joao Contrim is the leader of the small but vocal Liberal Initiative party. He said that “We say No” to incompetence and instability. He requested that lawmakers support a motion of no-confidence. This was rejected.

Catarina Martins, Left Bloc, stated that there were too few questionable appointments. She added that for every case that is closed, a new one opens.

Costa responded to criticisms by telling parliament he would propose to the President a new process for the time between nominations and actual appointments of government officials to “ensure greater transparency and trust.”

He dismissed the issue, saying that the most important thing for the Portuguese was the results of his administration (such as stronger economic growth and lower unemployment).

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