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Deputy director of Portugal's tax revenue service resigns

LISBON, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Deputy Director-general of Portugal's Tax Revenue Service Jose Maria Pires has stepped down over the allegation that there was a list of VIP figures who were shielded from paying tax, Portuguese Lusa News Agency reported on Thursday.

Jose Maria Pires' resignation on Wednesday came on the same day of Director of Portugal's Tax Revenue Service Antonio Brigas Afonso's stepping down.

In a statement, the Ministry of Finance approved Afonso's resignation on Wednesday. The ministry also highlighted that a list of VIP taxpayers had never existed.

The Union of Tax Workers has welcomed both resignations and has called for more employees in the sector to follow their footsteps.

"It is a logical resignation, which makes sense. Nevertheless, there are managers who cannot continue in their positions. There must be more resignations. I am referring to all the managers who implemented this VIP list, which is an attack on the law and to all the Portuguese," Director of the Union of Tax Workers Paulo Ralha told Lusa.

Afonso's resignation has added further fuel to the controversy regarding Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho, who earlier this month admitted he had evaded tax during the period of five years between 1999 and 2004.

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