PORTUGAL: The Technocrat

A surprise choice as Premier

"Portugal has a new manager," exclaimed Walter Marques, a director of the Bank of Portugal, last week. So it had. President António Ramalho Eanes had ended a two-week-long government crisis by tapping his favorite industrial technocrat, Consulting Engineer Alfredo Nobre da Costa, 55, to follow Socialist Party Leader Mário Soares as Premier.

Selection of Nobre da Costa was Eanes' way out of the bind bestowed on him by Soares, whose party holds 102 seats in Portugal's fractious 263-member parliament. Eanes fired Soares when the fragile governing coalition came apart as a result of restiveness on...

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