With his position as leader of the PSD party coming more and more into question, former prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho has found himself further isolated by the decision of his deputy, former environment minister Jorge Moreira da Silva, to leave national politics for a top job with the OECD in Paris.
Much has been made in the national press about da Silva’s nomination to the post of director-general of development and cooperation, and the fact that he ‘beat’ as many as 200 other candidates for the position.
But almost no mention has been made of his notoriety as the man who signed off licences for gas and oil exploration in the dying days of the last government which have since mobilized unparallelled civic and local authority opposition throughout the country.
He is also the man who told the Algarve’s Ria Formosa islanders that they did not deserve to live in their communities, which “should belong to everyone”.
The inconsistencies in his mandate as the PSD’s environment minister saw him describe pressure against oil and gas exploration in the Algarve as coming from “some retired foreigners who like to think of the Algarve as the land of the Indians”.
Thus news of his plum new appointment has elicited a number of local commentaries that are far from complimentary.