Huge embarrassment as CGD inquiry chief quits, citing “attitudes that violate the law”

Fighting to stay on top in the CGD row that shows no sign of dissipating, the government suffered a new hammerblow today when the man in charge of the parliamentary commission into the parlous situation of State bank resigned, saying he was “not available to go along with attitudes that violate the law”.

In a tense press conference this morning José Matos Correia claimed the attitudes “trample democracy” and put the normal functioning of commissions “at risk”.

In fact, it’s the kind of interference that could make parliamentary commissions “ineffective”, he explained – pointing to the “enormous political acrimony” that has marked the commission from the outset.

“We all have a limit”, the PSD MP told journalists. “Mine was passed yesterday”.

It is the first time that the president of a parliamentary commission has resigned, explains Diário de Notícias.

The ‘final straw’ came in the form of a concerted left-wing block on centre-right parties’ requests to be able to see the incriminating emails and messages said to have passed between finance minister Mário Centeno and former CGD boss António Domingues (click here).

As international observers have pointed out, Centeno has survived the “lawmaker spat, for now” – but the jury’s out on whether he can remain in the clear – given that there is mounting evidence that he has lied, as the saying goes here, “through all of his teeth”.

But Matos Correia’s point is that the rights of minority parties have not been respected.

This is an issue that is now snowballing out of control. It has been smouldering in the political background for months, but suddenly the nation’s media is pulling it every which way – even suggesting today (Correio da Manhã) that President Marcelo was pressured into ‘ceding’ his position that CGD directors should indeed comply with the laws of the land on asset disclosure.

What makes the row somehow more ridiculous is that the CGD board that refused to reveal its assets is now long-gone. In other words, all the political skullduggery was for nothing, and all that remains now is this ugly fight over who really did what and how it all collapsed in a mess.

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