Speaking to journalists at the PSD national headquarters, party vice-president Miguel Pinto Luz reacted to the resignation of the Secretary of State for the Treasury, announced on Tuesday night, counting her as the ninth exit in the executive led by António Costa, “within nine months”.
“In such a critical situation for the country, we see a Government without political authority degrading itself every day and the Portuguese ask, we ask: who will be next”, he questioned.
Pinto Luz said that the party awaits “an urgent, clear position, required of the only person responsible for all this mismanagement, Prime Minister António Costa”.
The PSD vice-president also strongly criticized the Ministers of Finance and Infrastructure and considered that the resignation of Alexandre Reis only happened at the “25th hour” and under pressure from “public opinion, the opposition, and the President of the Republic”.
"Medina and Pedro Nuno say they know nothing, as if one did not have TAP's tutelage and the other did not have Alexandra Reis as Secretary of State", he said, accusing them of being "deprived of political capacity".
Asked whether these ministers should leave the Government, Pinto Luz referred that decision to António Costa, reinforcing the need for him to give explanations on the subject.
"The PSD, through its parliamentary group, has already asked for urgent hearings with the ministers and public managers concerned to fully clarify this situation", he said.
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 compensation of 500 thousand euros from TAP.
Miguel Pinto Luz again accused TAP of having lied to the CMVM – implying that Alexandra Reis would have left of her own accord –, but did not want, for the time being, to ask for the departure of the company's executive president.
"The moment demands seriousness, professionalism and competence", he said, justifying the prior hearing of the company's managers in the Assembly of the Republic.
In his opening statement, the PSD vice-president regretted that, at a very difficult time for the country”, the Government “continues to toast the Portuguese with the bean of governmental incapacity, bewilderment and lack of knowledge”.
“The Government continues to confuse an absolute majority with absolute power, which refuses to be scrutinized and whose answers are never fully enlightening”.
Lack of control
Listing the various dismissals in the Government led by António Costa, Pinto Luz considered the departure of Alexandra Reis “another episode in a series of messes” and that reveals a “lack of control” over a company in which the State has already applied 3 .2 billion euros.
On Saturday, Correio da Manhã reported that Alexandra Reis received compensation of half a million euros for leaving early, in February, the position of executive director of the air carrier, when she still had to perform duties for two years. In June, she was nominated by the Government for the presidency of Navegação Aérea de Portugal (NAV) and at the end of the year chosen as Secretary of State for the Treasury.
The compensation to Alexandra Reis has been criticized in recent days by all the opposition and even questioned by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, when he said that “there are those who think” that it would be “beautiful” for the Secretary of State to waive the amount.
After requests for clarification to TAP, from the Ministers of Finance and Infrastructure, and the Prime Minister himself, António Costa, having admitted that he was unaware of Alexandra Reis' background, the resignation was announced on Tuesday night by the cabinet of Fernando Medina.