Mário Centeno
Governor of the Bank of Portugal Mário Centeno

Last ditch attempt against well-laid plans for new Governor of Bank of Portugal

As former finance minister Mário Centeno shakes off his last responsibility (head of the Eurogroup) before moving into the top job at the Bank of Portugal, Initiativa Liberal – one of the smallest parties in parliament – has lodged a legal bid to thwart him.

But it looks unlikely to be granted. 

All news outlets continue to affirm that Centeno is essentially a week away from taking over the reins at Portugal’s central bank.

Iniciativa Liberal’s beef – shared by the “crushing majority” of opposition MPs and parties – is that Centeno is leap-frogging through the ‘revolving door’ that favours so many politicians over a ‘new law’ approved on the day he resigned as finance minister calling for a five-year grace period between these kind of appointments (click here).

To be fair, it’s not even certain that President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will rubber-stamp this new law (bearing in mind he is all for Centeno as the new governor).

But what is clear is that every effort has been made to ensure Centeno reaches his goal in double-quick speed.

Today, the former finance minister who left the government mid-pandemic, is to be heard in parliament.

Reports stress that if it was up to a vote, his nomination would be ‘overwhelmingly’ rejected on the basis that it reeks of political chicanery. As the new governor, he will be dealing with a number of issues that he will have been involved with as minister, say MPs.

Stresses Sábado: “PSD, BE, PCP, CDS, PAN, Chega and IL all of them are against Mário Centeno as governor of the Bank of Portugal”. 

The vote however is not binding. Centeno will be on his way… unless the ‘providância cautelar’ lodged by IL is granted.

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