TAP airplane
Image: Lusa

TAP sale ‘economic crime; affront to workers’; ‘attack on national sovereignty’

Communist-backed trade unions blast government influence over flagship airline

Portugal’s Communist-backed trade union confederation (CGTP-IN) has said today that the privatisation of TAP is an economic crime, an affront to workers and an attack on national sovereignty.

“The importance of TAP makes its hypothetical privatisation an economic crime,” said the confederation in a statement sent to the press, in which it highlighted the airline’s contribution to the economy and its role in connectivity with Portuguese and Portuguese-speaking communities.

“The decision by the Council of Ministers to launch yet another attempt to privatise TAP is an affront to the airline’s workers and the country’s development”. If it goes ahead, it will represent “an economic and social loss and yet another attack on national sovereignty”, said the document.

The Council of Ministers approved the conditions for the privatisation of TAP last Thursday – and the government expects the process to be completed in the first half of next year.

Europe’s three largest aviation groups – Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and IAG – have already admitted to bidding for the airline.

CGTP, which believes that it is “possible and necessary to save TAP”, said the sale represents “yet another free ride for the European Union and big business which, after dominating and instrumentalising strategic companies and sectors, now sees the opportunity to get its hands on the national carrier”.

“Organised, convinced that reason is on the side of a public TAP, aware of the examples of other privatisations that have led to the dismantling of companies and economic sectors and put them at the service of profits and dividends, we reaffirm the workers’ commitment to defend the future of Portugal, to defend a public TAP and to serve the sovereign development of the country,” concluded the statement.

The words ‘crime’ and ‘TAP’ are not new. Not long ago it was the opposite end of the political spectrum that said it was a ‘political crime’ that the government had effectively renationalised TAP at all – particularly as the process has cost taxpayers roughly €3.2 billion which the prime minister has admitted a sale will not recoup.

Source material: LUSA