PM trails slimmed down government

Media hints at surprising ‘absences’

All day the nation’s media plans to slowly unveil the shape and form of António Costa’s third government.

For now, the fact that it is being ‘slimmed down’, with fewer ministries, is being taken as a sign that everyone involved will be more ‘focused’.

For those who have been amazed at the refreshing attitudes of the Ministry of the Sea, news is that this ministry looks like being twinned with environment (with the current minister of the Sea? We just don’t know…)

What does seem clear is that environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes doesn’t look like he’ll be appointed for a third term. Many would say ‘thank goodness’. He is the man, remember, who said he could see no problem at all with asbestos going into regular landfill. A man whose strategy was “to guarantee that no environment got in the way of destruction” (a quote by climate activist João Camargo). But we still have to hear who will be taking his place (so it’s still not the moment to launch any fireworks).

Tiago Brandão Rodrigues, at the helm of education for the last six years, is also due to relinquish his post; as is Francisca Van Dunem (juggling with the ministries of justice and interior administration), Manuel Heitor (Science and Technology) and Augusto Santos Silva (foreign affairs).

All the answers as to who will be taking these places have yet to come.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã claims the big news will be the decision by economy minister Pedro Siza Vieira to leave the government altogether (he had been mooted as a successor to Santos Silva).

The country can expect to hear ‘who, what, when and how’ later this evening.

The PM’s new government is likely to have 17 ministries and 38 secretaries of state. There are lots of ‘little details’ about which ministry will be in charge of what, but the real focus is who will be leading them – and this we will only hear later this evening once President Marcelo has seen António Costa’s ‘list’ and approved it.

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