Portugal unveils cabinet to fight debt crisis



Portugal unveils cabinet to fight 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