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CGD ‘hearing’ unlikely to go ahead before summer holidays

With controversy over the dire financial health of State bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) certain to hog Portugal’s financial headlines for the next few months, a right-wing bid to get things out in the open before the start of the parliamentary holidays has fallen flat.

According to TVI24 this morning, left-wingers have voted against the bid, which means finance minister Mário Centeno, the Governor of the Bank of Portugal Carlos Costa and outgoing CGD executive president José Matos will dodge MPs’ grillings a little while longer.

But political infighting shows no sign of abating, with Centeno already on the attack, blaming the last government for a deviation of €3 billion in the bank’s business plan.

PSD leader Pedro Passos Coelho refused to react to Centeno’s accusations last night, telling journalists in Estoril that he would only be “talking about football”. But a source for the party has suggested Centeno is “playing a political game” that will only reflect badly on the “confidence and uncertainty” show casting an ominous shadow over CGD.

Meantime, there is still no date for the ‘take over’ by a new management team, headed by former BPI director António Domingues.

Last month CGD’s liabilities were pegged at €5 billion and rising (click here), while earlier this month it was revealed the bank would be axing at least 2,500 jobs (click here).

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com