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Portugal's new president promises to help improve economy

Portugal's new president promises to help improve economy
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Pledging to help end Portugal’s economic crisis, Anibal Cavaco Silva has promised to throw his weight behind government reforms in his inaugural speech. The new president takes over from Jorge Sampaio. He was sworn in during a ceremony in parliament. The winner of January’s election, he is the first centre-right figure to hold the post since the Democratic Revolution of 1974.

The job is largely ceremonial. However Cavaco Silva hinted that he would play a more active role in the political process than his predecessors have done. “I think the president must follow what the government is doing very closely,” he said in his address. “He must do his best to promote stability, as well as ensuring that our democratic system stays vibrant and dynamic. I think the challenges Portugal faces need a head of state who will work to build a consensus on our national objectives.”

Cavaco Silva has offered Socialist premier Jose Socrates a “strategic partnership”. Despite their different political backgrounds the two men have already indicated they can do business.