Former Secretary of State steps back from revolving door move to private sector
Rita Marques. Image taken by Lusa when Ms Marques was still in government

Former Secretary of State steps back from revolving door move to private sector

… puts job in area she oversaw on hold

Former Secretary of State Rita Marques has stepped back from the controversial ‘revolving door’ move she was planning that has piled yet more outrage into Portugal’s festering political arena.

Following the statements by President Marcelo, labelling her plans “illegal and unethical”, Ms Marques took to professional social media platform Linkedin to make a statement that neither accepts that her proposed new position at World of Wine is illegal and unethical, nor that she has given up on it permanently.

“In recent days, my name has appeared in a high flow of news that is not in line with the values that I defend. Considering that my professional career has always been guided by competence, rigour, strict principles and ethical values, and by the unconditional compliance with the law, I understand that I am not in a position to accept, at this time, the invitation that was addressed to me, which foresaw that I would start my functions on January 16.

By law, Ms Marques should comply with a three-year ‘cooling off’ period before taking up the position with World of Wine.

Her statement suggests she still does not accept that there is “any obstacle to assuming these functions.

“In the performance of my duties, I did not have any role in the attribution of financial incentives or incentive systems and tax benefits of a contractual nature to this company; and I did not have any direct intervention in matters that resulted in a concrete benefit for that company, since, as is public knowledge, I limited myself to confirming the tourist attractiveness of a tourist development that enjoys the status of “Project of National Interest – PIN” and whose tourist attractiveness had been conferred before I took office as Secretary of State”.

Thus what happens in the future, remains to be seen. But certainly “at this time”, Ms Marques will not be starting as a director of World of Wine – and one of the many ‘outrages’ that have inflamed opposition parties in recent weeks has at least been removed from the headlines.

With the prime minister yesterday in parliament “profounding lamenting the internal problems of the government”, and recognising that “the executive has lessons to learn”, today has brought another ‘upset’: Mr Costa’s ‘advisor’ Pedro Magalhães Ribeiro has tendered his resignation having been ‘condemned’ by the national elections committee for “having used municipal communication channels” to promote his bid to be re-elected mayor of Cartaxo in last year’s municipal elections (which did not go his way).

natasha.donn@portugalresident.com