Eight days after reaching an agreement with the Government for a methodology regarding the choice of location for the new Lisbon airport, the PSD leader repositions himself – after being accused by Chega of “collusion” with the PS – and, launched one of the most aggressive attacks on António Costa and Pedro Nuno Santos since he became the leader of the party. Luis Montenegro had already made many criticisms of the PS, but he had not yet used such harsh words as “crime”.
“I am not afraid of words: it was a political and financial crime that has costs”, accused Montenegro at the PSD/Coimbra District Municipal Convention in Montemor-o-Velho, where the “ex-everything” in the party, Pedro Santana Lopes, independent mayor of Figueira da Foz, was also present. “I want the Portuguese people to reflect on the consequences of the decisions of the rulers, because when I am prime minister, I also want to be judged like that.”
Even without saying what you would do if you were prime minister – would you let TAP go bankrupt, as the Liberal Initiative has already defended? – the PSD leader pointed to the Government’s zigzags in the matter and the massive public expenditure injected to try to save the airline. He began by recalling that the Government “inherited a TAP with the majority of the capital in the hands of private persons” and in the process of privatization, and that later it chose the path of renationalization as a “strategic” option.
“This decision was not imposed by anyone. There was no European Commission imposing it. It was a choice in which these people understood that the public interest would be better safeguarded. I do not judge the intention, but I do the scrutiny of the choices”. And then attacked: “After injecting so much capital, they already think that the way out is to re-privatize TAP. But these people are playing at governance, but are these people playing with our money?”he questioned, and the audience applauded.
“These 3 billion were used, for example, to ensure that pensions were not cut” for at least three yearssuggested Luís Montenegro, shaking off the praise that António Costa paid him in this Thursday’s parliamentary debate regarding the Lisbon airport dossier, so that there is no doubt that there is no central block.
In this week’s parliamentary debate, questioned by Carlos Guimarães Pinto, from the Liberal Initiative, António Costa replied that he expected the privatization of TAP SA – now 100% owned by the State – to take place within the next 12 months. “It is a possibility on the table for the next 12 months. I hope so, that is what is planned, I hope so.” After the liberal deputy had given the example of the German Lufthansa, whose reprivatization brought profit to the German state, the prime minister did not commit to gains for the public coffers with the resale of the company: “Only if it were irresponsible” would it guarantee that the State will not lose money in the transactioncautioned Costa, but said he hoped “no”.
At this Saturday’s PSD/Coimbra convention, after spearing Costa and Pedro Nuno, Montenegro focused more attacks on the Minister of Infrastructure – possible rival in future legislatives – and accused him of saying “nonsense”.
“I think it was yesterday, the supervising minister comes to say that there is no location” for the new airport, “not for lack of will on the part of the government and the prime minister, because we had decided”. And he left in the air an insinuation of political disloyalty by the minister who was not supposed to be at the meeting with him and Costa but who ended up being: “One day, decisions can be made to be very convergent and comprehensive, another day it is campaigning, especially for domestic consumption, and then some nonsense can be said”. The rhetoric is hot. “Political crime,” he said. Do they all sit at the same table again?
Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.
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