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New ministers for Defence, Culture, Health and Economy

MinisterDefenceNewCravinoPrime Minister António Costa has taken advantage of the gap created by the resignation of the Minister of Defence by having a few changes in his executive.

The current Assistant Secretary of State for Administrative Modernisation, Graça Fonseca, will serve as Minister of Culture, replacing Luís Filipe Castro Mendes.

This is the second ministerial change for Culture during António Costa’s premiership.

Marta Temido takes over as Minister for Health, replacing Adalberto Campos Fernandes who has failed to get to grips with his brief. Between 2016 and 2017, Temido was president of the board of directors of the Central Administration of the Health System so will be well aware of the type of poison in this particular chalice.

The lawyer, Pedro Siza Vieira, currently a Deputy Minister will take over the Ministry of Economy, replacing Manuel Caldeira Cabral.

João Gomes Cravinho (pictured) is the new Minister of Defence, formerly a Secretary of State, replacing José Azeredo Lopes who resigned last Friday.

The four new ministers will take office on Monday at 12:00 at the Palácio de Belém in Lisbon.

The Prime Minister has changed the title of Minister of the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, who will take office as Minister of the Environment and Energy Transition, the second responsibility formerly coming under the Ministry of Economy.

The inauguration of a new set of secretaries of state will take place Wednesday at 11:00 am in the Palace of Belém, according to the note sent out by the Presidency of the Republic.

There are now five women ministers in the State’s 16 ministries: Graça Fonseca in Culture and Marta Feido in Health are joined by Minister of the Presidency and Modernisation, Maria Manuel Leitão Amaro, and Francisca Van Dunem as Minister for Justice. The Sea is still ruled by Ana Paula Vitorino.

The new Defence Minister, João Gomes Cravinho, has been an ambassador of the European Union in Brazil since August 2015, having held the same position in India between 2011 and 2015. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oxford and a master's degree from the London School of Economics.

Isabel Moreira, a Socialist Party MP, found it appropriate to post a comment on Facebook referring to the new Culture Minister, Graça Fonseca’s, sexuality.

Moreira referred to, "the enormous relevance of Graça Fonseca being the first out of the closet lesbian minister in Portugal," wrote the MP, immediately drawing fire from the PSD opposition whose Santarém district party office countered, "According to the Socialist Party MP, Isabel Moreira, the Minister of Culture was named because she is 'Lesbian,' and we profoundly regret that sexual orientation is the criterion of choice."