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Europe

New Portuguese Premier Nominated

Pedro Santana Lopes, the mayor of Lisbon, will succeed José Manuel Barroso as prime minister of Portugal after he was nominated by the ruling Social Democrats on Sunday to take over the post.

Pedro Santana Lopes, who has been nominated as new Portuguese prime minister, has been criticized by his own Social Democrat party as well as from rival parties for his reputation as a populist leader with euro-skeptic leanings, the Financial Times reported. The center-left Socialists, the main opposition party, had called for an early election after Barroso resigned as premier halfway through his four-year term to head the European Commission. But Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio on Friday rejected these calls and instead asked the ruling Social Democrats to form a new government. Barroso was chosen by EU leaders as the next head of the EU executive last month, but he still needs the approval of the majority of the European Parliament. Last week senior figures in the European Parliament criticized Barroso for stepping down as Portuguese prime minister before his candidacy for Commission president has been approved by MEPs. (EUobserver.com)

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