Jose Socrates

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Person.png Jose Socrates  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
José Socrates cropped from Dmitry Medvedev in Portugal 20 November 2010-2.png
BornJosé Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa
6 September 1957
Alijó, Portugal
Alma materPolytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Lusíada University, Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon, Independente University, University Institute of Lisbon
ChildrenJosé Miguel Eduardo
SpouseSofia Costa Pinto Fava
Member ofMarshall Memorial Fellowship
PartySocial Democratic Party (Portugal), Socialist Party
Portuguese PM responsible for austerity program after 2008

Employment.png Prime Minister of Portugal

In office
12 March 2005 - 21 June 2011
Preceded byPedro M. Santana Lopes

Employment.png Portugal/Secretary-General of the Socialist Party

In office
24 September 2004 - 23 July 2011

Employment.png Portugal/Minister of Social Infrastructure

In office
23 January 2002 - 6 April 2002

Employment.png Portugal/Minister of the Environment

In office
25 October 1999 - 6 April 2002

Employment.png Portugal/Deputy Minister of the Prime Minister

In office
25 November 1997 - 25 October 1999

José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa, commonly known as José Sócrates, is a Portuguese politician who was the Prime Minister of Portugal from 12 March 2005 to 21 June 2011. For the second half of 2007, he acted as the President-in-Office of the Council of the European Union.

Sócrates grew up in the industrial city of Covilhã. He joined the centre-left Socialist Party in 1981 and was elected Member of Parliament in 1987. Sócrates entered the government in 1995, as Secretary of State for Environment in the first cabinet of António Guterres. Two years later, he became Minister of Youth and Sports (where he helped to organize Portugal's successful bid to host UEFA Euro 2004) and in 1999 became Minister for Environment. Sócrates prominence rose during the governments of António Guterres to the point that when the Prime Minister resigned in 2001, he considered to appoint Sócrates as his successor.[1]

In opposition, José Sócrates was elected leader of the Socialist Party in 2004 and led the party to its first absolute majority in the 2005 election. By then, Portugal was living an economic crisis, marked by stagnation and a difficult state of public finances. Like the preceding centre-right government, Sócrates implemented a policy of fiscal austerity and structural reforms.[2][3] Among the most important reforms were the 2007 Social Security reform and the 2009 labour law reform.[4][5] His government also restructured the provision of public services, closing thousands of elementary schools[6] and dozens of health care facilities and maternity wards in rural areas and small cities.[7][8] Despite austerity, Sócrates's government intended to boost economic growth through government-sponsored investments, namely in transportation, technology and energy as well as in health and school infrastructure. The government launched several public-private partnerships to finance such projects. Internally, Sócrates was accused of having an authoritarian style and of trying to control media,[9] while internationally he completed the negotiations of Lisbon Treaty[10] and had close ties with leaders such as the Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero[11] and the President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez.[12] The first Sócrates government was initially able to reduce the budget deficit[13] and controlling public debt,[14] but economic growth lagged.[15]

In 2008–09, with the Great Recession starting to hit Portugal and facing recession and high unemployment, austerity was waned as part of the European economic stimulus plan.[16] Nevertheless, support for Sócrates and the Socialists eroded and the ruling party lost its majority in the 2009 election.[17] The second government of José Sócrates faced a deterioration of the economic and financial state of the country, with skyrocketing deficit and growing debt. Austerity was resumed in 2010 while the country entered a hard financial crisis in the context of the European debt crisis.[18]

On 23 March 2011, Sócrates submitted his resignation to President Aníbal Cavaco Silva after the Parliament rejected a new austerity package (the fourth in a year), leading to the 2011 snap election. Financial status of the country deteriorated and on 6 April Sócrates caretaker government requested a bail-out program which was conceded. The €78 billion IMF/European Union bailout to Portugal thus started and would last until May 2014. Sócrates lost the snap election held on 5 June 2011 and resigned as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party.[19] For most of his political career, Sócrates was associated to several corruption cases, notably Independente University and Freeport cases.

Criminal charges

On 21 November 2014 he was arrested in Lisbon, accused of corruption, tax evasion, and money laundering, becoming the first former Prime Minister in the history of the country to be thus accused.[20][21][22] On 24 November Sócrates was remanded in custody on preliminary charges of corruption and tax fraud.[23][24] He was held in Évora prison until 4 September 2015 when he left the prison for a relative's house in Lisbon, where he remained under house arrest until 16 October 2015.[25][26] That day, a judge released him from house arrest, allowing him to await the end of the investigation in freedom, although remaining forbidden of leaving the country and of contacting with other suspects of the case.[27][28] The police investigation, known as Operation Marquis continued until his indictment in October 2017. In 2018, Sócrates abandoned the Socialist Party.


Event Participated in

Bilderberg/20043 June 20046 June 2004Italy
The 52nd such meeting. 126 recorded guests


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