TAP inquiry goes on throwing-up inconvenient truths
OPINION: After all the hullabaloo earlier this week about the refusal by the government to deliver the legal opinion backing dismissal of former TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener, it transpires that there isn’t one.
In other words, the reason given by minister of parliamentary affairs Catarina Mendes that to make the opinion public would compromise the public interest was essentially a fib.
Admittedly, no one in government will call it that. Finance minister Fernando Medina faced a barrage of reporters last night and cited “process” repeatedly, referring to “an idea that was created” that there might have been a legal opinion…
State entity Parpública has since presented the narrative that “a joint deliberation with the general directorate of Treasury and Finances on the dismissal for just cause of the presidents of TAP (the former CEO and former chairman) for which there is no specific legal opinion” is in fact a document of a process that is still running, and for that reason it had been considered confidential (albeit it is confidential no longer, as the president of Parpública read it out in full last night to the parliamentary panel tasked with scrutinising what has been going on in TAP over the last couple of years).
Confused? Most people are – and that in itself could be the plan
State news agency Lusa’s report today on the “basis for the sacking TAP chairman, CEO due to breach of rules” (over the golden handshake agreed to an outgoing director who went on to be offered two plum public postings) ends with the assertion that the deliberation that underpinned the two managers’ dismissals was signed on April 12.
Yet the finance minister announced their ‘resignations’ “at the beginning of March”…
The inconvenient truths thrown up by the ongoing parliamentary inquiry – objective of which is to “evaluate the exercise of political responsibilty in the management of TAP SGPS and TAP S.A. in particular during the years 2020-2022” – promise to continue.
Whether the government succeeds in dodging them all and remaining credible is what everyone is waiting to find out.