Portugal’s interior minister resigns after fatal accident

FILE PHOTO: European Council of Foreign and Interior Ministers in Brussels
FILE PHOTO: Portugal’s Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita, speaks during the European Council of Foreign and Interior Ministers in Brussels, Belgium, March 15, 2021.Olivier Hoslet / Pool via REUTERS / File Photo

December 3, 2021

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal’s interior minister resigned on Friday almost five months after his driver was implicated in a car crash that killed a road worker while a government official sat at the airport. back seat.

Eduardo Cabrita, who joined Prime Minister Antonio Costa’s cabinet in 2015, when the Socialists came to power, has been urged to resign since the fatal crash.

He repeatedly refused to do so, but on Friday, prosecutors formally charged his driver with negligent homicide, saying he was speeding. when he ran over a 43-year-old highway worker who was a father of two.

“Above all, I regret this tragic, irreparable loss,” Cabrita said in her resignation statement. Earlier on Friday, he told reporters he was “just a passenger” in the vehicle involved in the crash.

Cabrita stepped down as Portugal prepared for snap elections next month called by the country’s president after the government failed to get parliamentary approval to pass its state budget bill.

During his time as head of the Interior Ministry, which oversees the fire, police and border services, Cabrita has faced a series of scandals, including when a Ukrainian man was assaulted by officers. beaten to death while in custody at Lisbon airport.

In another misstep, Cabrita’s ministry in 2019 provided protective headbands to the country’s firefighters who proved to be flammable. He became interior minister after wildfires in central Portugal killed more than 100 people.

“I take on this role in a particularly difficult context for the country, in a truly traumatic situation for the country,” he said on Friday. “Since then, I have worked intensively to make sure Portugal is a safe country.”

Shortly after Cabrita resigned, Prime Minister Costa told reporters that he accepted the minister’s resignation and had communicated it to the president. He also thanked Cabrita for his work.

(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Barbara Lewis) Portugal’s interior minister resigns after fatal accident


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