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Portuguese environment minister replaced

In a surprise move last Thursday Portuguese premier José Manuel Durao Barroso replaced environment minister Amílcar Theias and his entire ministerial staff with a team headed by ex-agriculture minister and European parliamentarian Arlindo Cunha. Mr Cunha's background in agriculture is considered significant given that his predecessor withstood sustained pressure from the agriculture ministry last year to defend his ministry's jurisdiction over protected habitats. Opposition parties and environmental NGOs criticised the move. Mr Theias was appointed only last last April (EED 07/04/03). Portuguese environment ministry.

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