PS admits to questioning Passos Coelho about privatization of TAP? “We’ll see later” | privatizations

The PS is committed to clarifying the level of involvement and knowledge of the members of the Government of Pedro Passos Coelho in the privatization of TAP in 2015 to the group led by David Neeleman, in a kind of parallel commission of inquiry. But if for now the socialists do not intend to ask Passos Coelho for explanations (which would have to be in writing), they also do not rule him out in the future and, in the meantime, they will engage in a series of hearings at the Economy and Public Works Commission, promises the parliamentary leader of the PS.

Especially because “two crimes could be at stake: one of financial assistance and the other of harmful management”, according to Eurico Brilhante Dias, after finding out, through an investigation by the magazine Visionthat the Government of Passos Coelho knew that the capitalization of TAP had been made with the company’s own money, despite Parpública having refused this financing scheme.

Speaking to journalists at the end of the weekly meeting of the socialist parliamentary group, Eurico Brilhante Dias stressed that in recent days there has been news that “confirms that TAP was capitalized with its own resources and assets when privatized by the PSD-CDS Government”.

The socialist stressed that the former Minister of Economy António Pires de Lima and the Secretaries of State Sérgio Monteiro, Miguel Pinto Luz and Isabel Castelo Branco were involved in the process, precisely the names that the PS proposed that they be heard in the Committee on Economy in Public Works .

“What is known is that, as there was distrust of Parpública [sobre o negócio de capitalização da TAP proposto pelo consórcio]this process [da capitalização através do negócio com a Airbus] was withdrawn from privatization. But later on, it turned out to be true. It is known today that the Government knew about this operation and was complicit and conniving with the fact that the capitalization of TAP was made with its own resources”, accused Eurico Brilhante Dias. Neeleman for raising doubts in Parpública, but was later executed”.

The socialist leader guaranteed that, “when the PS Government took office and changed the privatization percentage from 61% to 50%, the calculated value was exclusively from the ten million euros that were paid by the entity that acquired the 50% of TAP “. “The PS Government did not know, it did not know this fact that was concealed and manifestly set aside and then executed in breach of the contract, but with full knowledge of the PSD Government.”

Eurico Brilhante Dias has no doubts: “TAP was not privatized; TAP was offered to Mr. Neeleman with the company’s own resources.”

So what to do now with the new information that has come out? PS and PSD have been challenging each other with requests for hearings in the Economy Commission that should start next week or the following, duplicating the TAP issue in Parliament.

Despite the seriousness of the matter, Eurico Brilhante Dias does not see any advantages in expanding the scope of the current commission of inquiry into the management of TAP – the PS was, in fact, one of those who rejected this PCP proposal to also cover privatization and restructuring. “Inquiry commissions must have very defined periods and objects.”

“Parliament has permanent supervisory powers that go far beyond the instrument of the parliamentary inquiry. This will continue, but we will continue to evaluate this case in the Economics Commission and we will see if in the future we will request more information, documentation and more hearings.” For now, the PS will ask for access to the 2015 contract.

Asked by PÚBLICO about whether he is considering calling Pedro Passos Coelho to explain the matter, Brilhante Dias replied that “at this moment” no. “Let’s listen [os responsáveis aprovados] and then we will see if we consider it necessary or opportune to listen to someone else.”

But that doesn’t mean the Socialists are against a future commission of inquiry into privatization. “The Economy Commission must continue its supervisory work and we must evaluate [o resultado] of the auditions. (…) Anticipating any PS position without listening to these people is premature.” Eurico Brilhante Dias recalled that the Public Prosecutor’s Office is already “analyzing the aircraft acquisition process based on an audit carried out by the PS Government and sent by ministers Fernando Medina and Pedro Nuno Santos”.

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