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Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa resigns amid corruption probe

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Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced his resignation on Tuesday after prosecutors said he was under investigation for alleged corruption involving lithium mining and hydrogen projects in the country.

Costa, who led a majority Socialist government since 2015, said he had a “clear conscience” and “complete trust in justice”, but could not continue as prime minister while facing suspicion of his integrity. He also said he would not run for office again in any future elections.

Costa’s resignation triggered a political crisis in Portugal, which had been one of the best-performing economies in Europe, with an expected growth of 2% this year. The president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, accepted Costa’s decision and said he would consult with party leaders on Wednesday to decide the next steps. He could either dissolve the parliament and call for a snap election, or allow the Socialists, who have an absolute majority in the legislature, to form a new government.

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