In defence of an indefensible principle, the entire administration of State bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos is expected to tender a block resignation before the end of the month, leaving much-needed action on recapitalisation dangerously hanging.
As national media has tirelessly explained, members of any State-controlled entity are legally-bound to submit asset statements.
But CGD president António Domingues claims he and his fellow honchos should be exempt. In fact he said this was one of the terms on which he brokered the deal that allowed him to attract “the right people for the job”.
Domingues set out clear conditions, stresses Público: he would guarantee a recapitalisation without State input (to satisfy Brussels) on the basis that the bank was ‘freed’ from salary limits and directors were not bound to provide details of their wealth.
Público explains these conditions were “registered in writing” and accepted by finance minister Mário Centeno.
But they continue to stir up a hornet’s nest of revolt, particularly as in salaries alone, CGD’s board will raking in a small fortune.
President of the Republic Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has said that in his opinion either the bankers should come clean, or the law “has to change”.
“There is very little room for manoeuvre”, says Público today, running with the news that the government and Marcelo are “prepared to lose the board”.
The only “window” that might open up is one where board members make ‘secret declarations’ (not open to the ‘common man’) but available to entities with a legitimate interest (ie the public ministry and tax authority).
“It is tightrope”, admitted a source, but it appears to be “either that or (more) crisis at the Caixa”.
Photo: President Marcelo in relaxed ‘shoe-shine pose’ yesterday in Cascais as time is running out for CGD directors to file wealth statements