Only yesterday he was vowing that the Bank of Portugal would remain free of political influence, but today Carlos Costa, the man in charge of the country’s central bank has been humiliated.
SIC television news – the company that ran the embarrassing documentary exposing BdP for incurring millions of euros in losses by moving at the pace of a snail during the BES debacle – reports this morning that the government is going to “withdraw” the bank’s supervisory powers over banks needing salvage operations.
SIC’s report quotes Jornal de Negocios and comes the day Finance minister Mário Centeno is due to present parliament with “general lines” of control to be taken over BdP in future.
The move follows the gathering furore over the bank’s “performance” through successive institutional collapses over the last decade.
Costa has nonetheless refuted any kind of blame, saying he has been bound by strict laws, and will soldier on in his position to the end of his mandate – but woe betide any thought that politicians can change the status quo.
MP for the Green Party (Os Verdes) Heloise Apolónia has called the stand “revolting”, saying it is patently obvious that Portugal’s bank regulators “regulate absolutely nothing”.