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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 July, 2004, 22:52 GMT 23:52 UK
New Portuguese PM is inaugurated
Pedro Santana Lopes
Santana Lopes (left) has formally taken over from Durao Barroso
Prime Minister Pedro Santana Lopes and his new Portuguese cabinet have been sworn in at a ceremony in Lisbon.

Mr Santana Lopes replaces Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, who has been named head the European Commission in Brussels.

The Portuguese government continues being led by the centre-right Social Democrats, with the right-wing Popular Party as the junior partner.

However the reshuffled cabinet contains many new members, notably in the foreign and finance ministries.

During Saturday's ceremony Mr Santana Lopes, 48, said he would continue with the main policies of his predecessor - including his deficit-cutting measures.

But he added that he would pay closer attention to improving the lot of the poor.

"I am not here to look after the powerful," Mr Santana Lopes said.

Changes

The new prime minister is regarded as a populist, to the right of Mr Durao Barroso.

The new cabinet contains only six members of the previous government.

The new foreign minister is Antonio Monteiro, a career diplomat.

The new finance minister is Antonio Bagao Felix.

In a political career spanning more than two decades, Mr Santana Lopes has had little experience of government at national level.

Before becoming Lisbon mayor, his most senior post was as secretary of state for culture between 1991 and 1994.




SEE ALSO:
Barroso resigns to take EU post
05 Jul 04  |  Europe
Country profile: Portugal
30 Jun 04  |  Country profiles
Timeline: Portugal
10 Feb 04  |  Country profiles


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