New Portuguese treasury secretary resigns over swap contract reports

Portugal’s new treasury secretary Joaquim Pais Jorge has resigned just weeks after taking the position after media reports questioned his role in the offering of swap contracts to the preceding government while working in his previous role at Citigroup.

Swap contracts have been a particularly controversial subject in Portugal over the last few months, with the government struggling to moderate the estimated €3bn of losses to the state purse generated from the sale of these high-risk products to state firms before the debt crisis began in 2010.

Commenting on his resignation, Pais Jorge said:

I took this difficult decision because I would never allow controversies surrounding my professional life, which I have never hidden, to be used as a political weapon against the government.

He has any inappropriate involvement in these deals.

The news that has been made public in recent days, in which a presentation which is more than eight years old was falsified to include my name, show a level of political activity which I consider intolerable.

Pais Jorge took office in July, replacing Maria Luis Albuqueque. Albuquerque was promoted to the role of finance minister after her predecessor Vitor Gaspar resigned last month, sparking a political crisis.