Vítor Gaspar

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Vítor Gaspar
Vitor Gaspar.JPG
Minister of State
In office
21 June 2011 – 2 July 2013
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho
Preceded by Luís Amado
Fernando Teixeira dos Santos
Succeeded by Maria Luís Albuquerque
Minister of Finance
In office
21 June 2011 – 2 July 2013
Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho
Preceded by Fernando Teixeira dos Santos
Succeeded by Maria Luís Albuquerque
Personal details
Born Vítor Louçã Rabaça Gaspar
(1960-11-09) 9 November 1960 (age 54)
Manteigas, Portugal
Political party Independent
Alma mater Catholic University of Portugal
New University of Lisbon
Religion Roman Catholicism

Vítor Louçã Rabaça Gaspar (born 9 November 1960) is a former Portuguese Finance Minister and Minister of State, having served from 21 June 2011[1] until 2 July 2013.[2]

Education[edit]

Gaspar holds a degree in economics from the Universidade Católica Portuguesa (UCP) in 1982. He received a PhD in economics from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa in 1988.

Career[edit]

Gaspar was the director-general for research at the European Central Bank for six years. Then he became an adviser to the Bank of Portugal,[3] having been from 2007 director-general at the Bureau of European Policy Advisers (ERI) with the President of the European Commission.

He was appointed finance minister in prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho's cabinet on 21 June 2011. In this capacity, Gaspar's policies included a firm intention to accomplish the European Union/IMF-led rescue plan for Portugal's sovereign debt crisis. The rescue plan consisted of widespread tax increases and reforms aimed at better efficiency and rationalized resource allocation in the public sector, in order to reduce the number of unnecessary civil servants and the public sector's chronic overcapacity.[4]

As time went on it became increasingly clear that a series of supplementary measures would be taken during the course of the year as a means to restrain an out-of-control budget deficit. These included sharp cuts in spending on state-run healthcare, education and social security systems, along with widespread tax hikes.

On 18 October 2011 Gaspar told Portugal's main TV channel RTP1 that the wage cuts imposed on civil servants the previous week in the presentation of the State Budget for 2012 were the only way to avoid a much more painful and complex policy of mass firing of civil servants. He said that if wage cuts were not enforced, it would be necessary to get rid of about 100,000 civil servants immediately (under law, Portuguese civil servants are shielded from unemployment, so a number of special derogations would be needed to achieve this).[5]

On 1 July 2013, he resigned and was replaced by Maria Luís Albuquerque, who had been treasury secretary under him.[6] It was reported that he had tried to leave office eight months earlier due to pressure of public opinion.[citation needed] In his resignation letter Gaspar stated that his departure was due to the growing erosion of public support for austerity measures.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Gaspar is married and has three daughters.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ministério das Finanças" (in Portuguese). Governo de Portugal. Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "Portugal finance minister resigns". The Globe and Mail. Reuters. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Portugal finance minister quits". Al Jazeera. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  4. ^ (Portuguese) Administração Pública obrigada a emagrecer 1% ao ano, Destak.pt (21 June 2011)
  5. ^ (Portuguese) Gaspar: alternativa aos cortes seria saída de 100 mil funcionários públicos, Expresso
  6. ^ Portugal's finance minister quits
  7. ^ "Key minister quits as crisis grips". BBC. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 2 July 2013.