Government has betrayed trust of the Portuguese over TAP pay off, says opposition

  • Lusa
  • 29 December 2022

The leader of the PSD social democrat party, Luís Montenegro, considered on Thursday that the ruling PS socialist party betrayed the trust of the Portuguese.

The leader of the PSD social democrat party considered on Thursday that the ruling PS socialist party betrayed the trust of the Portuguese, stressing that a prime minister and a government of “tricks, skills and messes” generate instability.

In a publication on the social network Twiter early this Thursday morning, after the resignation on Wednesday night of the minister of infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, Luís Montenegro says that the PSD will continue to demand “the explanations that are missing”.

“The PSD will continue today to demand the explanations that are missing and we will continue to build the alternative that will give HOPE to Portugal. New Force, New Path,” Montenegro wrote.

Pedro Nuno Santos’ resignation was known on Wednesday night following the case of the half-million-euro compensation received by secretary of state Alexandra Reis when she left TAP.

The infrastructure minister’s departure from the government came 24 hours after finance minister Fernando Medina fired the secretary of state for the treasury, less than a month after Alexandra Reis took office and after four days of controversy over the 500,000-euro compensation paid by TAP, under the supervision of Pedro Nuno Santos.

“Given the public perception and collective feeling generated around the TAP case, Pedro Nuno Santos has decided to “assume political responsibility and present his resignation,” which has already been accepted by prime minister António Costa, according to a statement issued Wednesday evening by the ministry for infrastructure and housing.

The statement also said that, “following the explanations given by TAP, which led the minister for infrastructure and housing and the finance minister to send the case for consideration by the CMVM [Securities Market Commission] and the IGF [Inspectorate General for Finance], the secretary of state for infrastructure [Hugo Santos Mendes] decided, in view of the circumstances, to tender his resignation.

Alexandra Reis received compensation of half a million euros for leaving TAP early, in February, as executive director of the airline, when she still had two years to complete her duties and, in June, she was appointed by the government to the presidency of the Portuguese air traffic company (NAV). This month she was chosen as secretary of state for the treasury.

The decision to compensate Alexandra Reis was criticised by all the opposition and questioned even by the president of the country, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, when he said that “there are those who think” it would be “nice” to give up the sum.