Portugal's finance minister feels the heat in row over bank

Portugal's finance minister is at the center of a political storm that could decide his future in the government: did he or didn't he lie to Parliament?

The opposition Popular Party claims it has proof Finance Minister Mario Centeno lied when he told lawmakers he had no written exchanges with the new head of a state-owned bank over that person's demands for accepting the job.

The Finance Ministry says the allegation is untrue and amounts to a "vile attempt at character assassination." Prime Minister Antonio Costa said Friday that Centeno has his full confidence.

Centeno, who has a PhD in Economics from Harvard University, is a key member of the center-left Socialist government that is striving to restore confidence in debt-heavy Portugal's economy and banks after the eurozone's financial crisis.