Portugal Prime Minister
Portugal Prime Minister

It is known that Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa gave his resignation after an investigation was launched on his government for using his power to bypass some procedural hurdles that came his way during lithium extraction. It is known that the Portugal Prime Minister has not been named directly in the investigation but people very close to him have been. The police even raided his offices and he says he has resigned on moral grounds.

Portual’s former Prime Minister said in a statement that “he had been “surprised” to learn that he would be the subject of criminal proceedings and that “no illicit act weighs on my conscience.” “However, I believe that the dignity of the office of the prime minister is not compatible with any suspicion about your integrity, your good conduct and even less with the practical suspicion of any criminal act”. “Therefore, in these circumstances, obviously, I presented my resignation.”

It is known, as per the statement from the prosecutor general’s office, that “A judge authorized police to search 37 locations — including the office of Mr. Costa’s chief of staff, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Infrastructure, a City Council office in the town of Sines and several private homes”. The statement adds that this investigation “relates to lithium exploration concessions in northern Portugal and a hydrogen-energy production plant and data center in Sines, on the country’s southern coast”.

It did not name Mr. Costa but said that arrest warrants were issued for the head of the prime minister’s office — identified by local media as Vítor Escária — along with the mayor of Sines and three other individuals. Portugal’s minister of infrastructure and the head of Portugal’s Environmental Agency were also named as suspects in the statement. As per the statement from the prosecutor general’s office, the “investigation showed that the suspects had invoked Mr. Costa’s name and authority “to unblock procedures” in relation to the exploration concessions”. Portugal is known to be the hub of lithium reserves, and these are in demand right now because of usage in lithium iron batteries for EVs and most of the electronic products.

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