Portugal: Leader of Spain's opposition PP in Lisbon for meetings with PSD, PP

The leader of Spain’s opposition right-of-centre People's Party (PP), Pablo Casado, is expected in Lisbon on Saturday for meetings with the leader of Portugal’s main opposition Social Democratic Party (PSD), Rui Rio, and the leader of its right-wing People’s Party (CDS-PP), Assunção Cristas, according to Portuguese officials

Lisbon – All three parties belong to the European People’s Party (PPE).Casado’s meeting with Rio is scheduled for noon at a Lisbon hotel, while he is to meet Cristas at 6pm at her party’s Lisbon headquarters.

The latter will be the two leaders’ first meeting. On the agenda for it, Lisbon party sources told Lusa, is the European Parliament elections of 2019, the state of the European Union and the political situation in Portugal and Spain.

Casado, 37, was elected president of the PP on 21 July, with 57% of delegates’ votes cast at an extraordinary party congress.

His predecessor, Mariano Rajoy, had led the PP for 14 years and had been prime minister for seven, until his government was toppled on 1 June by a censure vote in parliament. The motion was tabled by Spain’s Socialist Labour Party, the PSOE, and supported by the fare-left Unidos Podemos and other, smaller parties.

Spain is now run by a minority Socialist government that has just 84 of the 350 seats in parliament.