António Costa

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Santos and the second or paternal family name is Costa.
For the Portuguese volleyball player, see Antonio Miguel Costa.
António Costa
GCIH
António Costa 2014 (cropped).jpg
119th Prime Minister of Portugal
Assumed office
26 November 2015
President Aníbal Cavaco Silva
Preceded by Pedro Passos Coelho
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
Assumed office
22 November 2014
Preceded by Maria de Belém Roseira (Acting)
Mayor of Lisbon
In office
1 August 2007 – 6 April 2015
Preceded by Marina Ferreira (Acting)
Succeeded by Fernando Medina
Minister of the Internal Administration
In office
12 March 2005 – 17 May 2007
Prime Minister José Sócrates
Preceded by Daniel Sanches
Succeeded by Rui Pereira
Minister of Justice
In office
25 October 1999 – 6 April 2002
Prime Minister António Guterres
Preceded by José Vera Jardim
Succeeded by Celeste Cardona
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs
In office
25 November 1997 – 25 October 1999
Prime Minister António Guterres
Preceded by Manuel Dias Loureiro
Succeeded by Luís Marques Mendes
Assistant Secretary of State for Parliamentary Affairs
In office
28 October 1995 – 25 November 1997
Prime Minister António Guterres
Preceded by Luís Filipe Menezes
Succeeded by José Magalhães
Personal details
Born António Luís Santos da Costa
(1961-07-17) 17 July 1961 (age 54)
Lisbon, Portugal
Political party Socialist Party
Spouse(s) Fernanda Tadeu (m. 1987)
Children Pedro
Catarina
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.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Costa was born in 1961 in Lisbon, the son of writer Orlando da Costa.[2] His father was of Goan, Portuguese, and French descent. Son of Maria Antonia 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.[3]

Political career[edit]

Costa's first role in a Socialist government was as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs under Prime Minister António Guterres between 1997 and 1999. He was Minister of Justice from 1999 to 2002.[3]

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.

Costa resigned as an MEP on 11 March 2005 to become Minister of State and Internal Administration in the government of José Sócrates following the 2005 national elections.

Mayor of Lisbon, 2007–2015[edit]

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.[4]

Candidate for Prime Minister, 2014–2015[edit]

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.[5] By April 2015, he stepped down as mayor to focus on his campaign.[6]

During the campaign, Costa pledged to ease back on austerity and give more disposable income back to households.[7] 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.[8] Also, he pledged to roll back a hugely unpopular hike in value added tax on restaurants and reinstate some benefits for civil servants.[6]

Prime Minister of Portugal[edit]

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.[4][9]

Personal life[edit]

António Costa's paternal grandfather, Luís Afonso Maria da Costa, was a Catholic Goan descendent of Hindus 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.[3] The couple have a son and a daughter.

Costa is an avid Benfica fan,[10][11] 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[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
José Vera Jardim
Minister of Justice
1999–2002
Succeeded by
Celeste Cardona
Preceded by
Daniel Sanches
Minister of the Internal Administration
2005–2007
Succeeded by
Rui Pereira
Preceded by
Marina Ferreira
Acting
Mayor of Lisbon
2007–2015
Succeeded by
Fernando Medina
Preceded by
Pedro Passos Coelho
Prime Minister of Portugal
2015–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Maria de Belém Roseira
Acting
Secretary-General of the Socialist Party
2014–present
Incumbent