Portugal unveils cabinet to fight debt crisis

Portugal`s new Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho unveiled a slimmed-down cabinet and appointed seasoned bank policymaker Vitor Gaspar finance minister to tackle the debt crisis.

Lisbon: Portugal`s new Prime Minister Pedro
Passos Coelho unveiled a slimmed-down cabinet and appointed
seasoned bank policymaker Vitor Gaspar finance minister to
tackle the debt crisis.

The 11-member cabinet includes four members of
centre-right Social Democrat party (PSD), the winner of June 5
polls, three from junior coalition partner CDS-PP and four
independents, the presidency announced.

The previous government had 16 ministers.

The new cabinet will begin work next Tuesday after
parliament meets, Passos Coelho said following a meeting with
President Anibal Cavaco Silva.

"I was appointed 48 hours ago, and since I have committed
myself, I took initiatives very quickly so that the country
would know in a record time the government which will lead the
country for the next four years," he said.

The PSD agreed on a coalition with the CDS-PP after it
failed to win a majority of seats.

The independent Gaspar was appointed finance minister. A
trained economist, Gaspar has been a special adviser to
Portugal`s central bank since 2010.

Previously he led the European Commission`s Bureau of
Policy Advisers and worked before that as a research director
at the European Central Bank for six years.

Another economist and independent lawmaker, Alvaro Santos
Pereira, was given the economy and employment portfolio.

CDS-PP leader Paulo Portas was appointed foreign minister and
Social Democrat Jose Aguiar was named defence minister.

PTI

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