Independents to play important role in new Portuguese gov't

13:41, June 21, 2011      

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The new Portugal government, to be inaugurated Tuesday and charged with the difficult task of leading the financially-troubled European country out of recession, will have four independents.

Vitor Gaspar, incoming finance minister, was head of the Bureau of European Policy Advisers at the European Commission from 2007 to 2010. He will lead the new government's efforts to fruther cut spending and maintain financial order.

Gaspar is to meet with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission on his first day in office.

The new economy minister, Alvaro Santos Pereira, is expected to make the frail Portuguese economy more competitive. He has recently published a book on the weaknesses of the Portuguese economy.

Paulo Macedo, the incoming health minister, is an economist and former director general of taxes. His job is to cut inefficiencies in the country's health care system.

Nuno Crato, a mathematician, was appointed minister of education, higher education and science.

The new coalition government, headed by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho from the center-right Social Democrat party, has a total of 11 ministers, fewest in the country's history. The previous government had 18 ministers.

Source: Xinhua
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