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Portugal’s finance minister voted worst in Europe

A SURVEY by British newspaper the Financial Times has placed Portuguese finance minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos at the bottom of a league table of European finance ministers.

Now in its third year, the Financial Times guide assesses political performance, decision making skills and level of respect when ranking the ministers among other economic and political factors.

The economic climate of the past year in Europe has been particularly difficult to deal with and ministers have had to cope with the near collapse of the banking sector while attempting to stabilise national economies.

Languishing at the bottom of the table, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, who came into office in 2005, was praised for his financial discipline but he has been forced to downgrade growth forecasts for 2009, a general election year, weakening his political standing.

Fernando Teixeira dos Santos was also  deemed the worst of 19 ministers when it came to dealing with the financial market crisis based on the cost of buying insurance against default on money borrowed by the government.

His performance at a European level and his domestic effectiveness was also considered to be poor.

At the top of the table was Finnish minister Jyrki Katainen followed by the German finance minister, Peer Steinbruck, with Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxemburg in third place.