Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa Resigns Amid Corruption Probe

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa Resigns Amid Corruption Probe
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António Costa, the Prime Minister of Portugal, resigned on November 7, 2023, amid a corruption investigation into his administration’s handling of lithium mining and hydrogen projects. The investigation was launched in September 2023 by Portugal’s Public Ministry, which is the country’s equivalent of the Attorney General’s Office.


The investigation centers on allegations that Costa’s government awarded preferential treatment to Chinese companies in exchange for bribes. Specifically, prosecutors are looking into whether the government gave preferential access to lithium mining licenses and green hydrogen projects to a Chinese company called Start Campus.

Searches and Arrests

In September 2023, Portuguese police raided the homes of Costa and several of his ministers in connection with the investigation. The raids led to the arrest of two of Costa’s close associates. Costa himself was not arrested, but he was questioned by prosecutors.


Costa faced increasing pressure from opposition parties to resign, and he announced his resignation in a televised address on November 8, 2023. He said that he was stepping down in order to protect the integrity of his office and to allow for a fair investigation.

Outcome of Investigation

The investigation into Costa is ongoing, and it is unclear whether he will face any criminal charges. However, his resignation has raised questions about the state of corruption in Portugal and whether the country’s institutions are capable of handling such cases.

Here are some additional details about the investigation:

  • The Public Ministry alleges that Costa intervened personally to speed up the awarding of contracts to Start Campus.
  • The investigation also includes allegations of misuse of funds, active and passive corruption by political figures, and influence peddling.
  • Costa has denied any wrongdoing, and he has said that he is confident that he will be cleared of all charges.

The resignation of Costa has been met with mixed reactions in Portugal. Some people believe that it was the right thing to do in order to preserve the integrity of the government, while others believe that it was an unnecessary step that has only served to further weaken Portugal’s political institutions.

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