PS will call Montenegro’s vice-president to Parliament on TAP privatization | TAP

The PS parliamentary group will call to Parliament the former Secretary of State and current vice-president of the PSD, Miguel Pinto Luz, and former Secretary of State Isabel Castelo Branco, about the possibility that TAP money was used in the privatization of the company in 2015, which could configure “two crimes”.

The two rulers belonged to the second PSD/CDS government led by Passos Coelho, resulting from the 2015 legislative elections, which lasted only one month, due to the program’s failure by the left-wing majority in Parliament. It was in this 20th Constitutional Government that the TAP privatization agreement was formally signed, but the socialists did not call the minister at the time, who was Miguel Morais Leitão. The PS justifies the option because it was the two Secretaries of State who were at the signing of the agreement on November 12, 2015.

“We will present a new request next week to hear the former Secretary of State Miguel Pinto Luz, the former Secretary of State for the Treasury Isabel Castelo Branco and the president of Parpública [Pedro Pinto] that on that dawn, twelve days after this Government took office and two days after it landed here, with a motion of rejection, signed the contract with you [David] Neelman and Mr. Humberto Pedrosa,” announced Eurico Brilhante Dias.

The parliamentary leader of the PS was speaking to journalists after the bench meeting, saying that the socialists want to hear these former rulers in the parliamentary committee on the economy. It is within the scope of that commission – and not in the parliamentary inquiry into the management of TAP’s political tutelage between 2020 and 2022, which the PS also asked (and has already been approved) to hear the former Minister of Economy of the first PSD/CDS Government led by Passos Coelho, António Pires de Lima, as well as his Secretary of State, Sérgio Monteiro, about the process of privatization of TAP. Now he wants to hear from Miguel Pinto Luz, who became vice-president of Luís Montenegro in July last year.

For their part, the Social Democrats admit calling to Parliament the main responsible for the reversal of the privatization of TAP during the PS Government, the former Minister of Planning and Infrastructure Pedro Marques and Diogo Lacerda Machado.

The socialist leader rejected, however, that this request could be seen as a “settlement of scores” with the PSD.

“We do not settle scores. In politics, scores are not welcome, but it is clear that we are not blind, we are not deaf, and what has happened in recent weeks is that there are unknown facts that have come to light and that cannot leave us indifferent”, he replied.

In the 20th Constitutional Government, Miguel Pinto Luz was Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications and Isabel Castelo Branco was Secretary of State for the Treasury, both holding these positions for only one month.

Recalling that the parliamentary commission of inquiry into TAP, proposed by the BE, took office on Wednesday, the socialist parliamentary leader added that the PS “has had the understanding that issues whose framework in this parliamentary commission of inquiry should not be addressed is fully assured”.

“It is not worth saying that we are raising a topic to counterpoint another. I am here with the tranquility and confidence of someone who, as a parliamentary leader, made a parliamentary commission of inquiry possible. [à TAP] to the period between 2020 and 2022 and I do not want to believe that this related matter is of minor importance”, he maintained.

The deputy continued, saying that “today it is known that the government at the time knew about the deal and knew that TAP was going to be capitalized with public money and that this could configure two crimes: one of financial assistance and the other of harmful management” and that “the Public Ministry itself is investigating this business”.

“We know that TAP’s capitalization needs will then have been ensured not by the investor, but by the company’s own resources, with the impact that this had on TAP’s management and on the capitalization that TAP also had to have later in 2020”, added.

The Socialist parliamentary leader said he was “looking very carefully” at the object of the parliamentary inquiry committee, awaiting “the response that the Public Prosecutor’s Office will have to give to the letter that was sent to find out if there are matters that are within the framework of this committee that are being investigated by the MP”.

“We will wait for the answer, with the answer, we will make other decisions,” he added.

Asked about BE’s request for documentation within the scope of the commission of inquiry – which wants all the information on management bonuses, terminations and company salaries – Brilhante Dias replied that “certainly BE requests documentation that may be relevant, but for the period 2020 and 2022”, not being able to make this request “for events of 2015”.

“Now, it is normal that some of the decisions taken between 2020 and 2022 may have been impacted by previous decisions and in that sense the request may make sense and we will not have any objection”, he concluded.

About two weeks ago, the ECO newspaper reported that the privatization of TAP in 2015 was won by former shareholder David Neeleman with money from the airline itself.

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