Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has been sworn in as Portugal's new president, making an appeal for prudent government spending after a recent financial crisis as well as a new focus on generating growth and jobs.

The veteran center-right politician and law professor who became a popular television personality takes over a largely figurehead post with no executive power, but one that can carry a political punch when the head of state speaks out.

Rebelo de Sousa, who won a January election, swore to uphold the Portuguese Constitution in a ceremony at Parliament on Wednesday.

He said in a speech that Portugal needs to heal the political and social wounds left by the sacrifices made after Portugal's 78 billion-euro ($85.5 billion) bailout in 2011 and give people a reason for hope.