The president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, was favorable today to change the law on limitations of appointments of relatives of politicians, a matter that has aroused controversy in recent weeks by the numerous ties existing in the Portuguese government.
"It is necessary to know if ethics is enough or if it is necessary to pass to the legislative domain (…) I believe that it is not enough," he told the press during an event in Lisbon.
The Portuguese head of state considered that the country has changed in recent decades and that what was admitted 30 years ago is no longer admitted, because "the dominant ethical feeling is more demanding".
"We are coming to the conclusion that ethics is not enough, it is necessary to change the law also with regard to the appointment of collaborators of holders of political positions," he added.
This position of the conservative president comes the week that the controversy of family ties in the Portuguese Socialist Executive triggered the resignation of Secretary of State for Environment, Carlos Martins, who resigned after learning that he appointed one of his cousins as a member of his cabinet.
The cousin, Armindo dos Santos Alves, had already resigned a day earlier as deputy to his cabinet.
The controversy has been christened in Portugal as "familygate" and led the prime minister, António Costa, to suggest on Thursday that the Parliament's Transparency Commission define "clear and uniform" criteria on the limitation of appointments of relatives of politicians.
The numerous bonds that exist between members of the Government of Coast are not a novelty nor an exclusive practice of the Socialist Party, but they have been censored in the last weeks by the rest of formations.