UPDATE 1-Portugal finance minister resigns
(Recasts with confirmation, replacement)
LISBON, July 1 (Reuters) - Portugal's Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, the architect of the country's 78-billion-euro ($102 billion) bailout plan, has resigned and will be replaced by the country's treasury secretary, the president's office said on Monday.
Gaspar has been widely blamed by the Portuguese for the deep austerity that has ravaged the country's economy for the past few years. Still, his resignation came as a surprise even though he has periodically been criticized by the junior partner in the country's centre-right coalition government.
He will be replaced by Treasury Secretary Maria Luis de Albuquerque.
Gaspar's departure comes shortly before the next review of the country's bailout by its creditors, the European Union and IMF, to start on July 15.
At the last review, Portugal won an easing of tough budget goals and Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has suggested he may request a fresh relaxation for next year if the economic outlook worsens.
Portugal's economy entered its third year of recession in 2013 and unemployment is at record highs following the biggest tax hike in living memory aimed at raising revenues to plug the budget deficit. ($1 = 0.7671 euros)
(Reporting By Axel Bugge and Sergio Goncalves, editing by Andrei Khalip, Ron Askew)