President of ANA airports administrative council accused of ‘conflict of interest’

Citizens movement ‘Aeroporto BA6-Montijo Não’ – desperate to stop the siting of a busy passenger terminal in its south of Lisbon community – has accused the president of ANA’s administrative council of a conflict of interest.

José Luís Arnaut, a former PSD MP and minister, is one of the partners of lawyers’ office CMS which ‘assessed’ the concession of the original (State-owned) ANA airports authority to French group Vinci.

It was a 50-year deal from which he could be said to have benefited by dint of his current position.

Say his denouncers: “The president of ANA has sought to ignore the fact that he was one of the constructing forces of ANA’s process of privatisation, putting in the hands of Vinci exclusive control of all Portugal’s airports”.

Aeroporto BA6-Montijo Não is still supremely focused on putting up all the arguments against Montijo becoming the capital’s second airport. Its Facebook page is full of information that hasn’t always made it to national media.

In this particular instance, however, José Luís Arnaut has countered the accusations, saying “these people have nothing that will stick”.

Yes, he “was and is a lawyer for the Vinci group, since 2006, but there is no conflict of interest. I am not a lawyer for the State. It is a private participation”, he told reporters.

Meantime, ANA’s deadline to respond to the contingency measures costing €48 million demanded by Portuguese environment agency APA for the use of Montijo has been extended to December 20 (click here).

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