Survey: majority defends privatization of TAP | privatizations

TAP should be privatized, according to 61% of respondents in a survey carried out by the Center for Studies and Opinion Surveys (Cesop), at the Catholic University, for PÚBLICO, RTP and Antena 1. Of those surveyed, only 27% defended that the best thing for the country was to have TAP as a public company, and another 12% did not answer or do not know.

After being privatized in 2015, in a process that was reformulated in 2016, with the State guaranteeing 50% of TAP, the state intervention that began following the impacts of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 caused the company to return to to be 100% state-owned, investing 3,200 million euros and pushing the private sector aside.

The Government has already stated that it will sell part of the airline’s capital again, and it remains to be seen what percentage will be put up for sale. Earlier this month, the Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina, said that he would present “soon” to the Council of Ministers “the start of the privatization process of TAP”.

Days before, the Minister of Infrastructure, João Galamba, had said that there were “good expectations” regarding the conclusion of the process. Lufthansa and Air France-KLM are in the group of potential interested parties, as is IAG, which owns Iberia and British Airways, but the proximity of the hub de Madrid and the recent acquisition of Air Europa could dampen an application from this group.

The Cesop poll also had a question about the performance of various personalities in terms of the management of the TAP case (where the controversy over the compensation of half a million euros to former administrator Alexandra Reis is included), with all stakeholders having an assessment negative.

On a scale of 0 to 20 regarding the management of TAP, the Prime Minister, António Costa, was classified with an average evaluation of 7.5, above the 7.1 of the Minister Fernando Medina and the 6.4 of the former Minister of Infrastructure Pedro Nuno Santos, who left the executive following the Alexandra Reis case. The worst score went to the management of TAP, led by Christine Ourmières-Widener, with 5.6.

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