Portuguese Prime Minister presents his resignation to President amid allegations of corruption

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa presented his resignation to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa yesterday amid allegations of corruption. This comes just hours after the arrest of his chief of staff, Vitor Escaria. Raids were conducted across the country and Infrastructure Minister Joao Galamba has also been named as a formal suspect in the probe. Investigators are looking into concessions given to multiple enterprises such as lithium mining companies - Lusorecursos and Savannah Resources; a green- hydrogen plant; and a large scale data centre. 

Portugal is Europe's biggest producer of lithium which is used in electric cars and to power electronic appliances. Since the beginning, the concessions given to these companies faced strong opposition from both the local communities and environmental activists. Another deal being scrutinised is the creation of a 100 megawatt hydrogen production hub, set up in 2020 in Sines, South Portugal. The large- scale data centre, also situated in Sines, was launched jointly by an American and a British investment firms.

Costa will remain in government until the president's decision. The President has summoned political parties for consultations on Wednesday and his consultative body, the Council of State, tomorrow.

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