"As this is the last time we publicly participate in a ceremony in our capacity, I would like to thank these eight years of institutional cooperation and solidarity", said António Costa at the press conference at the end of today's Council of Ministers meeting alongside the head of state , Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who chaired the meeting.

The outgoing Prime Minister said that the two "did not always" share the same positions, but argued that this "is indeed an assumption that happens in our Government system".

The head of Government considered that "it will hardly be possible to find another period of constitutional experience where relations between the Government and the Presidency of the Republic have continued in such a fluid, cooperative and supportive way as has happened in the main over these eight years".

António Costa also thanked Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa for accepting the invitation to preside over the last meeting of the Council of Ministers of the XXIII Government and pointed out that it was already "a tradition" that began with the former head of State Cavaco Silva.

In 2016, António Costa made a similar invitation to Aníbal Cavaco Silva, at the end of his presidential term, at that time a Council of Ministers exclusively dedicated to maritime matters, which took place at the São Julião da Barra Fort, in Oeiras.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa also presided over another Council of Ministers, in 2021, which took place in the Monsanto area, in the city of Lisbon, and was dedicated to the topic of forests.

"It is, more than a gesture of courtesy, to emphasize the importance of cooperation and institutional solidarity between the Government and other sovereign bodies and, in particular, with the President of the Republic", said the outgoing Prime Minister today.

António Costa has been Prime Minister since 2015 and Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa President of the Republic since 2016.

The participation of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in the executive meeting, was at the invitation of the Prime Minister, António Costa's office announced on Thursday.

According to Article 133 of the Constitution, it is part of the President of the Republic's powers to "preside over the Council of Ministers, when the Prime Minister requests it".