Confusion persists in protracted sale of Novo Banco

Two of the PS government’s powerbase supporters have shown themselves dead-set against the shambolic proposal to “sell” Novo Banco – the bank that emerged from the ashes of BES – to a known US vulture fund.

The latest sticking point is the Portuguese government’s proposal to retain a 25% shareholding in the bank, without any say in the way it is managed.

Both Bloco de Esquerda and PCP Communists dub this “inadmissable”.

BE’s point is that without a say in the running of the bank, the State (and its taxpayers) would still remain liable for any losses that come in the future.

PCP’s opposition is rooted in the belief that Novo Banco should be incorporated into Portugal’s public banking sector, ie nationalised.

In a statement, the communist party rejects conditions being imposed on the sale by the European Central Bank and EU, stressing that Novo Banco’s future should be an issue solely for the Portuguese State.

Meantime, the clock is ticking. Under the terms of the loan that created the bank it must be sold by August this year.

As we were writing this story, prime minister António Costa, visiting Madeira ahead of tonight’s Portugal versus Sweden game at Funchal stadium said he was hopeful that Novo Banco would be sold by the end of the week.

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