|119th Prime Minister of Portugal|
26 November 2015
|President||Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa
|Preceded by||Pedro Passos Coelho|
|Secretary-General of the Socialist Party|
22 November 2014
|Preceded by||Maria de Belém Roseira (Acting)|
|Mayor of Lisbon|
1 August 2007 – 6 April 2015
|Preceded by||Marina Ferreira (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Fernando Medina|
|Minister of the Internal Administration|
12 March 2005 – 17 May 2007
|Prime Minister||José Sócrates|
|Preceded by||Daniel Sanches|
|Succeeded by||Rui Pereira|
|Minister of Justice|
25 October 1999 – 6 April 2002
|Prime Minister||António Guterres|
|Preceded by||José Vera Jardim|
|Succeeded by||Celeste Cardona|
|Minister of Parliamentary Affairs|
25 November 1997 – 25 October 1999
|Prime Minister||António Guterres|
|Preceded by||Manuel Dias Loureiro|
|Succeeded by||Luís Marques Mendes|
|Undersecretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs|
28 October 1995 – 25 November 1997
|Prime Minister||António Guterres|
|Preceded by||Luís Filipe Menezes|
|Succeeded by||José Magalhães|
|Born||António Luís Santos da Costa
17 July 1961
São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon, Portugal
|Political party|| Portugal:
Party of European Socialists
|Spouse(s)||Fernanda Tadeu (m. 1987)|
|Relations||Ricardo Costa (brother)|
|Children||Pedro (b. 1990)
Catarina (b. 1993)
|Parents||Orlando da Costa
Maria Antónia Palla
|Residence||São Bento Mansion|
|Alma mater||University of Lisbon|
António Luís Santos da Costa, GCIH (born 17 July 1961) is a Portuguese lawyer and the Prime Minister of Portugal, in office since 26 November 2015. Previously he was Minister of Parliamentary Affairs from 1997 to 1999, Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002, Minister of State and Internal Administration from 2005 to 2007, and Mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party in September 2014.
Early life and education
Costa was born in 1961 in Lisbon, the son of writer Orlando da Costa. His father was of Goan, Portuguese, and French descent. His mother was Maria Antónia Palla, a Portuguese journalist and recognized feminist activist.
Costa studied law in the 1980s in Lisbon, when he first entered politics and was elected as a Socialist deputy to the municipal council. He later practiced law briefly from 1988, before entering politics full-time.
Costa was a Member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party (PES), heading the list for the 2004 European elections after the dramatic death of top candidate António de Sousa Franco. On 20 July 2004 he was elected as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament. He also served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
Mayor of Lisbon, 2007–2015
António Costa resigned all government offices in May 2007 to become his party's candidate for the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal's capital city. He was elected as Lisbon's mayor on 15 July 2007 and reelected in 2009 and 2013, with a bigger majority each time. In April 2015 he resigned, already as Secretary General of the Socialist Party and the party's candidate for Prime Minister, to prepare the campaign for the October 2015 general elections.
Candidate for Prime Minister, 2014–2015
In September 2014, the Socialist Party chose Costa as its candidate to be Prime Minister of Portugal in the 2015 national elections; in a ballot to select the party's candidate, gaining nearly 70 percent of the votes, he defeated party leader António José Seguro, who announced his resignation after the result. By April 2015, he stepped down as mayor to focus on his campaign.
During the campaign, Costa pledged to ease back on austerity and give more disposable income back to households. He proposed to boost incomes, hiring and growth in order to cut the budget deficits while scrapping austerity measures and cutting taxes, asserting that would still allow deficits to reduce in line with the Euro convergence criteria. Also, he pledged to roll back a hugely unpopular hike in value added tax on restaurants and reinstate some benefits for civil servants.
Prime Minister of Portugal
On 4 October 2015, the conservative Portugal Ahead coalition that had ruled the country since 2011 came first in the elections winning 38,6% of the vote, while the Socialist Party came second with 32,3%. Passos Coelho was reappointed Prime Minister the following days, but António Costa formed an alliance with the other parties on the left (the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Ecologist Party "The Greens"), which altogether are a majority in the Parliament, and toppled the government on 10 November (the People–Animals–Nature party also voted the motion of rejection presented by the left alliance). After toppling the conservative government, Costa was chosen to be the new Prime Minister of Portugal by President Cavaco Silva on 24 November and assumed office on 26 November.
António Costa's paternal grandfather, Luís Afonso Maria da Costa, was a Goan Catholic and his father was the writer and poet Orlando da Costa. He has also French descent through his father. His mother is the writer Maria Antónia Palla. His half-brother by his father's second marriage is the journalist Ricardo Costa.
In 1987, Costa married Fernanda Maria Gonçalves Tadeu, a teacher. The couple have a son and a daughter.
Costa is an avid Benfica fan, being a frequent attendant to the games as Lisbon mayor, as opposed to Sporting Lisbon's. He also accompanied Benfica to both Europa League finals, in 2013 and 2014.
Civil awards and decorations
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Prince Henry, Portugal (1 March 2006)
- Grand-Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Norway (25 September 2009)
- Third Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Estonia (16 July 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania, Lithuania (16 July 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Merit, Chile (31 August 2010)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, Holy See (3 September 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order pro merito Melitensi, Sovereign Military Order of Malta (23 November 2010)
- Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Poland (18 July 2012)
- Commander of the Order of Rio Branco, Brazil (19 May 2014)
- Second Class (Grand-Cross) of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan (16 February 2015)
- Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Poland (16 February 2015)
- António Costa's Biography on the Portuguese Government's official webpage.
- Then Came A Gandhi, outlookindia.com, retrieved 10 September 2015
- Axel Bugge (October 4, 2015), Portuguese Socialist leader Costa candidate for PM Reuters.
- Agence France-Presse (25 November 2015), Portugal gets Antonio Costa as new PM after election winner only lasted 11 days The Guardian.
- Andrei Khalip (September 28, 2014), Portugal opposition Socialists choose mayor of Lisbon as candidate for PM in next year's election Reuters.
- Axel Bugge (April 1, 2015), Lisbon Socialist mayor steps down to campaign for Portugal PM Reuters.
- Axel Bugge (September 18, 2015), Portugal election race still in dead heat, no majority win: poll Reuters.
- Andrei Khalip (September 17, 2015), Portuguese PM and Socialist opponent clash over austerity as election nears Reuters.
- Patricia Kowsmann and Matt Moffett (November 24, 2015). "Socialist Leader António Costa Is Named as Portugal’s Prime Minister". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Estrangeiras". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
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