Marcelo: “The political issues” surrounding TAP “were resolved in the meantime” | Interview

For Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the “soap opera” into which the TAP dossier became also shows the “lightness” with which members of the Government are often chosen. And he warns: “The Government must have the notion that it will be, from now until the end of its functions, the target of a very rigorous scrutiny in this type of questions.”

Have the consequences that the President of the Republic asked to be withdrawn from what happened at TAP already been withdrawn?
Let’s start with the Inspector General of Finance (IGF) report. In one part it was a confirmation, in another it was a surprise. It came as a surprise to me to discover that it had in the end taken the form, in a very original legal sense, of an agreed resignation. That I don’t know what it is. Resignation means a unilateral act by the person leaving and, by definition, is not an agreement. There are no such agreements in public law – there are in private ones. But there is not in the statute of the public manager. The second surprise that I found, and that I didn’t know about, is that the interested party had been there for less than 12 months and, therefore, was probably not entitled to that compensation. It was a compound, legally abstruse form, which in fact was going to result in a null contract, as noted by the IGF, which is very strict – I was an employee of the IGF at the beginning of my activity as a civil servant. Now we come to the legal consequences, which began and have not yet ended because who can stop the functions of chairman and the CEO is the General Assembly, it is not a government order.

What about political issues?
The political issues in terms of responsibility of the members of the Government who were in charge of the sector were resolved in the meantime. For the Portuguese, this took so long for the Government to realize the importance of the fact that, in the middle, the Minister of Finance left, for general reasons of remodeling [João Leão]and the Minister of Infrastructures left at his heels [Pedro Nuno Santos]. The question becomes the following: are there no political consequences for the two supervising ministers, the current ones? Infrastructure has just joined and, therefore, it is very difficult to find any kind of responsibility for it. But isn’t there political responsibility, not directly political in that case, but in the case of going to NAV and then in the invitation to the Government? In both cases, this telenovela was not known. CReSAP, which must be heard and was heard about the competence and positions filled by the candidate, gave a favorable opinion.

But shouldn’t you know?
The Minister of Finance can always say: when I accepted the proposal that came from the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, there was nothing related to it.

Shouldn’t he have been strict about understanding the background?
In that case, CReSAP said, “Very good.” In the choice for the Government, apparently, the same idea. But this is a problem that I understand and that bothers many Portuguese people: the lightness with which, in these cases, as in other cases, there was a choice of members of the Government. To be quite honest, I think that the Government must be aware that, from now until the end of its functions, it will be the target of very rigorous scrutiny in this type of question, in the choice of political personnel. Is well. And that there are naturally top personalities: after the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance is perhaps the most important minister in the Government at the moment. So there’s obviously going to be a concentration of focus on it.

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