António Luís Santos da Costa GCIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐ̃ˈtɔnju ˈkɔʃtɐ]; born 17 July 1961) is a Portuguese lawyer and politician serving as the 119th and current prime minister of Portugal since 26 November 2015, presiding over the XXI (2015–2019), XXII (2019–2022) and XXIII Constitutional Governments (2022-present). Previously, he was the secretary of state for parliamentary affairs from 1995 to 1997, minister of parliamentary affairs from 1997 to 1999, minister of justice from 1999 to 2002, minister of internal administration from 2005 to 2007, and mayor of Lisbon from 2007 to 2015. He was elected as secretary general of the Socialist Party in September 2014.
Early life and education
Costa was born in 1961 in São Sebastião da Pedreira, Lisbon, the son of writer Orlando da Costa and journalist Maria Antónia Palla. Costa is half Portuguese and half Goan; his father was born in Maputo, Mozambique, to a Goan family. In Goa, Costa is affectionately known as Babush, a word in Konkani meaning a young loved one.
Costa graduated from the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon in the 1980s, when he first entered politics and was elected as a Socialist deputy to the municipal council. He completed the mandatory military service in 1987 and later practiced law briefly from 1988, before entering politics full-time.
Costa was a member of the European Parliament for the Socialist Party (PES), heading the list for the 2004 European elections after the dramatic death of top candidate António de Sousa Franco. On 20 July 2004 he was elected as one of the 14 vice-presidents of the European Parliament. He also served on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs.
Mayor of Lisbon
António Costa resigned all government offices in May 2007 to become his party's candidate for the municipality of Lisbon, Portugal's capital city. He was elected as Lisbon's mayor on 15 July 2007 and reelected in 2009 and 2013, with a bigger majority each time. In April 2015 he resigned his duties as a mayor, while he was already the secretary general of the Socialist Party and the party's candidate for Prime Minister, so that he could prepare his campaign for the October 2015 general elections.
Candidate for prime minister
In September 2014, the Socialist Party chose Costa as its candidate to be prime minister of Portugal in the 2015 national elections; in a ballot to select the party's candidate, gaining nearly 70 percent of the votes, he defeated party leader António José Seguro, who announced his resignation after the result. By April 2015, he stepped down as mayor to focus on his campaign.
During the campaign, Costa pledged to ease back on austerity and give more disposable income back to households. He proposed to boost incomes, hiring and growth in order to cut the budget deficits while scrapping austerity measures and cutting taxes for the middle and lower classes, asserting that would still allow deficits to reduce in line with the Euro convergence criteria. Also, he pledged to roll back a hugely unpopular hike in value added tax on restaurants and reinstate some benefits for civil servants.
Prime Minister of Portugal
On 4 October 2015, the conservative Portugal Ahead coalition that had ruled the country since 2011 came first in the elections winning 38.6% of the vote, while the Socialist Party (PS) came second with 32.3%. Passos Coelho was reappointed Prime Minister the following days, but António Costa formed an alliance with the other parties on the left (the Left Bloc, the Portuguese Communist Party and the Ecologist Party "The Greens"), which altogether constitute a majority in Parliament, and toppled the government on 10 November (the People–Animals–Nature party also voted in favour of the motion of rejection presented by the left alliance). After toppling the conservative government, Costa was chosen as the new prime minister of Portugal by President Cavaco Silva on 24 November and assumed office on 26 November.
By March 2017, polls put support for Costa's Socialists at 42 percent, up 10 points from their share of the vote in the 2015 election and close to a level that would give them a majority in parliament were the country to vote again. In the 2017 local elections, Costa further consolidated power in Portugal as his party captured a record haul of 158 town halls out of the country's 308 cities and towns; nationwide, the Socialists’ vote share topped 38 percent, again up from their result in the 2015 parliamentary election.
During his tenure, Portugal experienced its deadliest wildfires ever, firstly in Pedrogão Grande in June 2017 (65 dead) and later across the country in October 2017 (41 dead). In October 2017, the opposition People's Party (CDS) launched a motion of no-confidence in Costa's government over its failure to prevent the loss of human lives in the lethal Iberian wildfires, the second such disaster in four months; the motion was largely symbolic as the minority Socialist government continued to be backed in parliament by two left-wing parties.
In April 2018, Reuters reported that, "Since coming to power, Costa's government has managed to combine fiscal discipline with measures to support growth, while reversing most of the austerity policies imposed by the previous center-right administration during the 2010–13 debt crisis.
In early 2019, Costa's government survived another opposition motion of no confidence lodged over a wave of public sector strikes. Ahead of the 2019 national elections, Costa ruled out a coalition government with the hard left if, as expected, his governing party won the election but fell shy of a parliamentary majority. Instead, he indicated he favored a continuation of the current pact in parliament with the Communists and/or the Left Bloc – rather than any formal coalition in which they would have government ministers.
He was re-elected in the 2022 Portuguese legislative election, with the PS winning 120 seats, up from 108 seats, in a surprise outright majority in the Assembly. In the weeks leading up to the election, polling suggested that Costa and the Socialists would retain their status as the largest party in the Assembly but would need the help of other parties to achieve a majority. In his victory speech, Costa thanked voters for giving him "an increased responsibility" and promising to govern "with and for all Portuguese". This gave him the mandate to form the XXIII Constitutional Government of Portugal.
In 1987, Costa married Fernanda Maria Gonçalves Tadeu, a teacher. The couple have a son and a daughter.
Costa is a supporter of S.L. Benfica, being a frequent spectator at their matches whilst Lisbon mayor, as opposed to Sporting Lisbon's. He also accompanied Benfica to both UEFA Europa League finals, in 2013 and 2014.
|Year||Country||Award Name||Given by||Field of Merit|
|2017||India||Pravasi Bharatiya Samman||President of India||Public Services|
Civil awards and decorations
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Prince Henry, Portugal (1 March 2006)
- Grand-Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit, Norway (25 September 2009)
- Third Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, Estonia (16 July 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order for Merits to Lithuania, Lithuania (16 July 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Merit, Chile (31 August 2010)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, Holy See (3 September 2010)
- Grand-Cross of the Order pro merito Melitensi, Sovereign Military Order of Malta (23 November 2010)
- Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta, Poland (18 July 2012)
- Commander of the Order of Rio Branco, Brazil (19 May 2014)
- Second Class (Grand-Cross) of the Order of the Sacred Treasure, Japan (16 February 2015)
- Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, Poland (16 February 2015)
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Charles III, Spain (25 November 2016)
- Grand-Cross of the Order of Honour, Greece (21 April 2017)
- "Leadership". Party of European Socialists. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
- António Costa's Biography on the Portuguese Government's official webpage Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine.
- Then Came A Gandhi Archived 12 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine, outlookindia.com, retrieved 10 September 2015
- "'Proud of my roots in Goa': Portugal PM Antonio Costa's Q&A with HT". Hindustan Times. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
- "Portugal PM Antonio Costa: Goan connection of 'Gandhi of Lisbon' who won polls again". WION. Retrieved 10 March 2022.
- "António Costa" (PDF). Jornal de Campanha — Socialist Party. August 2015. p. 3. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
- Axel Bugge (4 October 2015), Portuguese Socialist leader Costa candidate for PM Archived 16 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Mais de um terço do Executivo de Costa esteve nos governos de Sócrates (Jornal Económico) https://jornaleconomico.sapo.pt/noticias/mais-de-um-terco-do-executivo-de-costa-esteve-nos-governos-de-socrates-722921
- Agence France-Presse (25 November 2015), Portugal gets Antonio Costa as new PM after election winner only lasted 11 days Archived 24 December 2016 at the Wayback Machine The Guardian.
- Andrei Khalip (28 September 2014), Portugal opposition Socialists choose mayor of Lisbon as candidate for PM in next year's election Archived 25 November 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Axel Bugge (1 April 2015), Lisbon Socialist mayor steps down to campaign for Portugal PM Archived 4 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Axel Bugge (18 September 2015), Portugal election race still in dead heat, no majority win: poll Archived 4 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Andrei Khalip (17 September 2015), Portuguese PM and Socialist opponent clash over austerity as election nears Archived 17 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Patricia Kowsmann and Matt Moffett (24 November 2015). "Socialist Leader António Costa Is Named as Portugal's Prime Minister". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- Axel Bugge (31 March 2017), As Europe left struggles, Portugal's alliance wins over voters and Brussels Archived 21 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Paul Ames (2 October 2017), Portugal’s Socialists toast ‘biggest ever’ election win Archived 3 October 2017 at the Wayback Machine Politico Europe.
- "Portugal and Spain wildfires: Dozens dead and injured". BBC News. 16 October 2017. Archived from the original on 16 October 2017. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
- Axel Bugge and Andrei Khalip (17 October 2017), Portugal's government faces no-confidence vote over forest fires Archived 27 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Andrei Khalip (13 April 2018), Portugal government targets budget surplus in 2020, irks allies Archived 15 April 2018 at the Wayback Machine Reuters.
- Andrei Khalip and Mark Heinrich (20 February 2019), Portuguese PM withstands no confidence motion in parliament Reuters.
- Andrei Khalip (29 August 2019), Portugal PM rules out coalition government after October election Reuters.
- "Portugal elections explained". www.theportugalnews.com. Retrieved 22 January 2022.
- "Portugal election: Socialists win unexpected majority". BBC News. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 31 January 2022.
- "António Costa espera dérbi com ″golos e espetáculo″". Archived from the original on 18 September 2016. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
- Deepika, K.C. (10 January 2017). "Awarding PIOs in recognition of their services". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
- "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Archived from the original on 17 August 2013. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
- "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Estrangeiras". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Archived from the original on 15 July 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Presidencia del Gobierno: "Real Decreto 577/2016, de 25 de noviembre, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Real y Distinguida Orden Española de Carlos III al Excelentísimo Señor Antonio Luis Santos da Costa, Primer Ministro de la República Portuguesa" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish) (286): 82949. 26 November 2016. ISSN 0212-033X. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to António Costa.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to António Costa.|