Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pedro Passos Coelho

Pedro Manuel Mamede Passos Coelho (born in Coimbra, on July 24, 1964) is Prime Minister of Portugal. Passos Coelho started very early in politics, becoming the national leader of the youth branch of the Social Democratic Party. A business manager by trade, he was elected President of the Social Democratic Party and has led the XIX Governo Constitucional (19th Constitutional Government of Portugal) as head of government since 21 June 2011.

Early Years
Pedro Passos Coelho was born in the parish of Sé Nova in Coimbra, Portugal, in 24 July 1964. He is the youngest son of a medical doctor, António Passos Coelho (born Vale de Nogueiras, Vila Real, Douro, 31 May 1926) and the woman he married in 1955, a nurse, Maria Rodrigues Santos Mamede (born Santana da Serra, Ourique, Baixo Alentejo, c. 1930). He has an older sister, Maria Teresa Mamede Passos Coelho, a medical doctor, and an older brother, Miguel Mamede Passos Coelho, who was born with cerebral palsy.

He spent his childhood in Angola—one of Portugal's overseas possessions by then—where his father practised medicine. After the Carnation Revolution of 1974 and the independence of the territory as the People's Republic of Angola, he returned with his family to Europe and settled in Vila Real, Northern Portugal.

He started very early in politics, as a 14 year old boy, and had a long and prominent career in the youth branch of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the JSD, where he was a member of the National Council (1980–1982). As a young student, his academic interests, vocations and ambitions where directed towards a future career in medicine, in order to follow his father and older sister steps, or instead mathematics. However, his largest ambition and vocation revolved around politics.

Personal Life
Passos Coelho lives in Massamá, Greater Lisbon. He was married to Fátima Padinha, a former singer with the girl band Doce, by whom he has two daughters, Joana Padinha Passos Coelho (born 1988) and Catarina Padinha Passos Coelho (born 1993), and he is now married to Laura Ferreira, a physiotherapy technician, born in Bissau, Portuguese Guinea, by whom he has one daughter, Júlia Ferreira Passos Coelho (born 2007). His older daughter, Joana Padinha Passos Coelho suffered a life threatening accident at young age, with sequels. Apart from his native language, he is fluent in English.

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