Portugal minister quits over Facebook ‘slap’ threat
Portugal's culture minister resigned on Friday after triggering a social media storm by threatening to give two journalists a "good slap" on his Facebook page.
Joao Soares, the son of a former Portuguese president, blasted journalists Augusto Seabra et Vasco Pulido Valente after coming under fire in a stinging editorial in the Publico newspaper.
“A good slap would do them some good. And me as well,” Soares wrote on Thursday morning, sparking angry criticism and calls for him to quit.
He later defended himself saying he had “reacted not to opinions but to insults” and Prime Minister Antonio Costa was forced to apologise to the two journalists on his behalf.
Soares resigned on Friday for reasons of “deep solidarity with the government and its left-wing political project”, he said in a statement published by the Lusa news agency.
In the editorial that angered Soares, Seabra said his appointment was “inexplicable” and his ministerial style was marked by “cronyism, authoritarianism and coarseness”.
The minister’s resignation comes a day after the head of Portugal’s armed forces quit after the number two in the country’s military college admitted telling parents of young cadets to withdraw their sons if they were gay “to protect them from the other students”.