The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, today inaugurated the new Secretary of State for the Environment, João Ataíde, succeeding Carlos Martins, who resigned after being informed that he had appointed a cousin to the cabinet.
At the inauguration ceremony held this afternoon at the Palácio de Belém in Lisbon, there was also the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, and the Prime Minister, António Costa.
António Costa – who at the meeting held a longer conversation with the president of the Supreme Court, Judge Counselor António Joaquim Piçarra – stayed in the Palace of Belém after the ceremony for the weekly meeting with the President of the Republic.
Government ministers, besides Minister of the Environment and Energy Transition, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, were also the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, and the Minister of Internal Administration, Miguel Cabrita.
The judge and until now president of the Chamber of Figueira da Foz since 2009, João Ataíde das Neves, is the new Secretary of State for the Environment.
A native of Figueira da Foz, where he was born in 1958, João Ataíde das Neves holds a degree in Law from the University of Coimbra, a post-graduate degree in Law from the State Business Sector by the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, and participated in the Advanced Training Program led by the New School of Business and Economics.
Carlos Martins asked for his resignation at the end of last week after it was reported that he appointed cousin Armindo Alves as deputy cabinet. Armindo Alves had already resigned the day before.
According to a note from the office of João Pedro Matos Fernandes, the request for resignation was made from Costa Rica, where the Secretary of State was "on behalf of the Portuguese Government".
In the missive, Carlos Martins justifies the request of dismissal with the fact that this polemic could harm the executive and the PS.
"I understand that the matter may be prejudicial to the Government, the Socialist Party and the Prime Minister. With the same honor that determined my acceptance of government functions, I understand, at this time, to request my resignation from the Prime Minister and the Minister, "he said.
"During these years, as Secretary of State for the Environment, I have always acted on good faith criteria and have tried to do my best to achieve the objectives of the Government and the Ministry of the Environment and the Energy Transition," Carlos Martins writes in the letter of dismissal.