In the face of sharp criticism over the appointment of Bank of Portugal governor Carlos Costa for a further term, the PM has decided that the matter will be debated in parliament after all.
News last Friday that Pedro Passos Coelho and Finance Minister Maria Luís Albuquerque had offered Costa a continuation of his post from June this year set alarm bells ringing across Portugal's financial community and media, both fully aware of Costa’s track record of ineptitude when handling the regulation of Portugal’s financial sector.
The prime minister said on Saturday that ‘in due course’ the government will decide on the next governor of the Bank of Portugal, saying that it is an executive decision which will merit a parliamentary hearing.
"The mandate of the governor will end in June this year. The government will not fail to make a timely decision on the next governor of the Bank of Portugal. This is an issue that will be subject to a decision by the government itself, which should be discussed at a parliamentary hearing and which will then be confirmed by the government," said Pedro Passos Coelho as if this is what he meant all along.
Passos Coelho will certainly have been aware of the media coverage of last Friday’s story and added, "When I have news on this issue I will give public notice of this matter. Until then I will not comment on newspaper reports.”
The Prime Minister was keen to confirm that he had talked to his finance minister on this issue, saying that there is "harmony" in their views.
Their views had been to reappoint Costa but any such casual reappointment was always bound to create friction.
Hopefully there will be harmony in selecting a more apt candidate.