The prime minister defended this Tuesday that the “political consequences” related to the case of compensation, now considered null, that was paid to former administrator Alexandra Reis, had already been “withdrawn several weeks ago”.
With this statement, António Costa reiterates that the current Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina, had nothing to do with the process, and signals that the political consequence was assumed by the former Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, who, after to resign, turned to the time tape and realized that, after all, not only did he know about the severance agreement, but he also authorized it. Hours before the resignation of Pedro Nuno Santos, the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Hugo Santos Mendes, had already submitted his resignation.
Speaking to journalists broadcast on television, António Costa stated that the “political consequences, I think it is public and notorious that they had already been taken several weeks ago”. And he added that the report by the General Inspectorate of Finance (IGF) confirmed “for the umpteenth time” that “the Minister of Finance had no intervention or knowledge of the process” and that “not even the former Minister of Finance” was aware .
As for the layoffs of chairman and the CEO of TAP following the IGF report concluding that the agreement reached between the airline operator and Alexandra Reis is void, the head of government admitted that “any act of the State is questionable in court” and that both Manuel Beja and Christine Ourmières-Widener will be able to go to court if they so wish.
In any case, Costa left a “recognition” in relation to the work carried out by the management of TAP, whose “results of the restructuring have been positive”. “That is to the credit of this administration and the CEO,” he said. On the other hand, he defended that the dismissals will not affect the company’s privatization process, and left the guarantee that the restructuring plan will continue to be executed.
António Costa was speaking to journalists in Seixal, at the end of the opening session of the first Green Hydrogen injection project into the natural gas network in Portugal, after being questioned about the consequences of the Government’s decision to exonerate the executive presidents and the board of directors from TAP.
“The company’s privatization process is based mainly on the quality of TAP, on TAP’s potential and on the way in which the restructuring plan has been followed. The restructuring plan will continue to be implemented and therefore the conditions for privatization will not be called into question. Fortunately, there are several companies that have expressed interest in this process”, maintained the executive’s leader.
António Costa referred that just last week the German company Lufthansa expressed interest in participating in the privatization of TAP.