New “swaps blow” as Opposition encourages government to appeal

Spain’s Santander Totta bank will be delighted today with news that the UK Court of Appeal has ruled that ‘ruinous’ swaps contracts celebrated with Portuguese public transport companies have to be honoured – though this spells further headaches for the cash-strapped government.

The Court of Appeal’s decision was unanimous, reports noticiasaominuto, sounding a massive thumbs down to the State’s argument that the contracts were null and void.

Almost the minute the story went public, Opposition MPs were calling for the government to appeal, and blaming everything on former prime minister José Sócrates.

Said Adão Silva: “We hope the current government makes an adequate appeal”. It should not be “frightened in any way”, he added, “because the contracts ara highly prejudicial for the Portuguese State”.

This was clearly not the basis on which judges will have been looking at them – but Silva continued his tack, calling the contracts “truly strange and immoral” – which is why the last administration opted to ‘tearing them up’ in 2013.

In doing so, he added, the PSD government ‘managed to save the Portuguese public’ €567 million.

The issue however is that a huge question mark has now been etched into this saving, with Santander saying it is now waiting for the contracts to be finally honoured.

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