Reacting to the resignation of the Minister of
Infrastructure and Housing, Pedro Nuno Santos, on Wednesday night, to “assume
political responsibility” for awarding the compensation of 500 thousand euros
from TAP to the former Secretary of State for the Treasury, Alexandra Reis, the
president of the SPAC, Tiago Faria Lopes, stated that the official “finally
assumed” political responsibility for this case.
“But it is not just political responsibility that is at
stake. There is another responsibility, which is an operational, business responsibility,
namely because there is public money” involved in this case of compensation
from TAP, said Tiago Faria Lopes, referring to the “two players” who are still
at TAP, the CEO , Christine Ourmières-Widener, and the chairman, Manuel Beja.
“As a matter of solidarity, and loyalty to the minister
[Pedro Nunes], if the minister resigns, naturally, we all hope that they [CEO
and chairman] resign,” he said, listing the reasons why he defends these two
layoffs at the airline.
First, “due to all these scandals” related to TAP; second,
due to the lie they wrote” to the Securities Market Commission (CMVM). “If they
lie to the CMVM, which is the regulatory body, they are guaranteed to lie to
taxpayers and TAP Air Portugal workers”, he defended.
As for a possible departure of the CEO of TAP, the president
of the SPAC says that “there is evidence” that there is an addendum to the
contract of Christine Ourmières-Widener that determines that at the end of the
contract, or due to early termination, she will have a bonus. “Guaranteed that
this bonus, based on the half million euros that Alexandra Reis received, will
be much greater. The scandal will be greater. Now it remains to be seen whether
it is true or not,” he said.
The resignation of Pedro Nuno Santos was the third in the
Government in two days, after Alexandra Reis, from the Treasury, at the centre
of the controversy over TAP's compensation, and the Secretary of State for
Infrastructure, Hugo Santos Mendes, who accompanied the decision by Pedro Nuno
The Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina, dismissed the
Secretary of State for the Treasury on Tuesday, less than a month after
Alexandra Reis took office and after four days of controversy over the
compensation of 500 thousand euros from TAP, supervised by Pedro Nuno Santos.
Alexandra Reis received compensation for leaving early, in February, as executive administrator of the air carrier. In June, she was nominated by the Government for the presidency of Navegação Aérea de Portugal (NAV) and this month she was chosen for Secretary of State for the Treasury.