‘No evidence’ Ministry of Finance knew of TAP director exit

  • Lusa
  • 5 July 2023

The huge payout to Alexandra Reis, later appointed secretary of state for treasury at the Ministry of Finance, ultimately led to the ministry of Infrastructures resignation.

The preliminary report of a parliamentary committee of inquiry into TAP, Portugal’s state-controlled flag carrier, concludes that there is no evidence that the Ministry of Finance knew of the departure of board member Alexandra Reis – who received a €500,000 payout – and that it learned of this only through a statement to the securities markets regulator, the CMVM.

“The CPI found that there was no evidence that the TAP shareholder, [represented by] the Ministry of Finance, was aware of the process of Alexandra Reis’s departure, as there was no communication either from TAP, specifically from the PCA [chair of the board of directors] or the CFO [chief financial officer] as the main interlocutors with this authority,” states the preliminary report. “Neither through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing, nor by Alexandra Reis herself.”

The document, which Lusa has seen, was drafted by Ana Paula Bernardo, member of parliament for the governing Socialist Party (PS), and submitted at midnight on Tuesday.

The report also states that “the Ministry of Finance was aware at the time of publication on the website of the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) of the statement sent by TAP on 4 February,” while the “Ministry of Infrastructures and Housing was aware of the process of Alexandra Reis leaving” – with the then minister, Pedro Nuno Santos, having heeded the wishes of the then CEO, Christine Ourmières-Widener, to replace Reis on the board and, at the end of the process, expressed “his acceptance of the value agreed between the parties.”

The huge payout to Reis, who was later appointed secretary of state for treasury at the Ministry of Finance, when later reported on by the media triggered a controversy that ultimately led to Santos’s resignation as minister.