It is down to business for Jose Socrates after the weakened Portuguese prime minister was sworn in for a second stint at the helm.
His socialist party lost its parliamentary majority in last month’s general election and faces big challenges into its second term. Socrates has identified the country’s rising debt and lengthening dole queues as top priorities. His new cabinet contains many of the key figures from the previous administation, including Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos. Among the new faces is Jose Vieira da Silva who takes the Economy portfolio. His appointment has been welcomed by business leaders and the centre-right opposition. Socrates will need his opponents’ support if he is to push through tough measures in a budget expected the end of the year. In fact, the premier did hold talks with other political parties after the election but eventually decided to form a minority Socialist government and negotiate support for his bills on a case-by-case basis.