Portugal’s president accepted on Tuesday today the resignation of Mário Centeno as finance minister, proposed by the prime minister, and his replacement by João Leão, until now Secretary of State for the Budget.
According to a note published on the Presidency website, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received the proposals for the resignation, at his request, of the finance minister, Professor Mário Centeno, and the appointment, in his place, of Professor João Leão” from António Costa.
The president “accepted the proposals”, the note said.
João Leão holds a PhD in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and joined António Costa’s economic team in 2015, having been part of the group of economists that prepared the macroeconomic scenario and monitored the Socialist party electoral programme.
Secretary of State for the Budget since November 2015, João Leão has been responsible for the budgetary policy of António Costa’s governments.
A government told Lusa that the replacement of Mário Centeno by João Leão “constitutes a natural guarantee of continuity of the results achieved by governance in public finance”.
According to the same source, the secretary of state for the budget also has “solid knowledge of the Portuguese economy, having led the ministry of economy studies office for five years, during the term of different governments”.