Antonio Costa, Portugal’s socialist prime minister, has resigned after police raided his home in a corruption investigation. From one moment to the next Portugal found itself in the middle of a political crisis.
“Neither the people nor the opposition saw such a development coming,” writes the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Even what exactly it is about remains unclear. These are generally large industrial projects, dubious contracts and subsidies that ended up in the wrong hands. But the exact indictment is still unknown, as is the role of those involved. Among those arrested, however, were Costa’s chief of staff and a businessman and close friend of his.”
According to SZ, “the prime minister reacted correctly and immediately. In a functioning democracy, the head of government must resign even on suspicion of corruption. And everyone else will have to accept that despite dozens of offices and homes being searched, it’s unclear whether Costa has any involvement […] and if so, who is she? Perhaps the prime minister was uninvolved or simply ignorant.”
The tageszeitung speaks of an “honorable resignation”, commenting that Costa “is one of the rare exceptions of politicians who resign immediately when accusations of corruption are made against themselves or their cabinet members or friends. Costa left in order not to affect the dignity of his office, even though he maintains his innocence.”
Taking stock of Costa’s tenure, taz emphasizes, according to DW, that “a political man is leaving, whose leadership has benefited Portugal. The social democrat made the country economically independent again from the European mechanisms and the D.N.T. and overturned many of the austerity measures.”
Costa’s resignation “honours him, regardless of the findings of the investigation. Because he spares his country from the long, deafening, political and judicial disputes, such as those taking place in the USA, Austria, Israel or Spain”.
Follow reporter.gr on Google News and be the first to know all the news
See all the latest News from Greece and the World, the moment they happen, at reporter.gr