Former environment minister hopes for UN posting

Under fire in Portugal for handing-out allegedly suspect oil and gas licences in the dying days of the last government, former environment minister Jorge Moreira da Silva may be about to receive a “Get Out of Government fast” card. He is hoping for the position of what Jornal de Notícias describes as the equivalent of UN sub-secretary general. The answer could come through ‘even this week”, says the paper.

A hop to the UN would certainly take the heat off pressure in parliament to understand why Moreira da Silva signed contracts with Algarve ‘oil baron’ Sousa Cintra when the latter’s company Portfuel seemed not to comply with even minimum requirements (click here).

Moreira da Silva – a firm favourite of former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho – has announced on his Facebook page that he is the finalist for the position of executive secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), and that he had an interview with UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon last week.

UPDATE: But he didn’t get it! The MP battling Ria Formosa islanders used to call the ‘mini-minister’ due to his lack of physical stature heard on Tuesday that UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon has chosen Mexican Patricia Espinosa instead of him.

Aside from Espinosa being the candidate Ban Ki-Moon himself nominated, Moreira da Silva’s experience was not considered “sufficient”, writes Público.

Accepting defeat with good grace, the former government hotshot said Espinosa was a “great choice”.

Moreira da Silva will thus be remaining in Portuguese parliament while the debate over whether or not to rescind onshore exploration licences granted in the Algarve hots up.

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