Government crisis in Portugal?

In Portugal, the government of socialist Prime Minister António Costa is in disarray. Its Minister for Infrastructure Pedro Nuno Santos and two state secretaries have been forced to resign amid a scandal over severance pay paid by TAP Air Portugal, which is majority-owned by the state, to a former Secretary of State for the Treasury. What do the resignations mean for the country?

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Público (PT) /

This cabinet is living in a bubble

By filling the posts in this way the cabinet has missed an opportunity, Público writes:

“When the government most needed to open the windows and let in fresh air, when it was important to prove its strength to civil society, António Costa did just the opposite. ... Instead of academics or managers with proven experience in public works or transport, he shook hands with two supporters of Pedro Nuno Santos in order to maintain the internal balance. Peace among his peers is more important to him than efficiency, and the PS party book is more important than professional experience. ... With all this one gets the terrible feeling that the government is living in a bubble.”

Expresso (PT) /

Not too damaging yet

Journalist Daniel Oliveira predicts in Expresso that the government crisis won't necessarily have major repercussions:

“This absolute majority is showing extraordinary signs of instability, with eleven resignations in just ten months. In theory, it is the most stable government since [Socialist] José Sócrates won an absolute majority. It is certainly more stable than the loose left alliance supported by the Left Bloc and the PCP [from 2016 to 2019]. This proves that political stability does not depend on arithmetic majorities, but above all on social stability. ... However, it would be premature to believe that a political crisis is imminent.”