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Former finance minister gets top job at “firm that makes money from bankruptcies”

An unholy row has erupted following news that former finance minister Maria Luís Albuquerque has landed a top job at a British firm “that makes money from bankruptcies” while remaining in the (extremely lucrative) position as PSD MP in parliament.

Both the Bloco de Esquerda and PCP communists want to see Albuquerque investigated for potential incompatibilities in the two roles, considering her new employers Arrow Global are in the process of buying up ‘assets’ from the Banif bank debacle.

According to the PCP, Albuquerque’s appointment could “violate the grace period” during which people leaving public responsibilities cannot take up jobs in private concerns.

Albuquerque refutes this, saying her role at Arrow will be as a non-executive director “without participation in decision-making on concrete business in Portugal or other countries”, writes Correio da Manhã – but left wingers are not convinced. Left bloc firebrands Mariana Mortágua and Catarina Martins think the whole thing stinks.

“There are no words to describe this situation,” said the latter, stressing Albuquerque will be walking into a job next Monday morning “that made money with what she did at Banif, by dragging the whole situation out”.

She likened the scenario to Albuquerque “holding the knife and the cheese” (loosely translated as having her cake and eating it) as she “continues to make money from the way assets were handled when in the hands of the State”.

SIC television news has kept up with the story over the weekend, explaining the terms of Albuquerque’s new job. It will involve between two and five days work per month, and pay her a minimum salary (before tax) of €5000.

Added to the €3000 that the former finance minister already clears for her work as an MP, the total of over €8000 per month is not doing Albuquerque any favours.

Writing one of her regular columns in CM on Saturday, Joana Amaral Dias, known left winger and psychologist said Albuquerque’s insistence that she is not doing anything illegal shows the “conscience of a psychopath and spine of an amoeba”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com