There was a presumption that the Secretary of State for Infrastructure, Hugo Mendes, and the Secretary of the Treasury, Miguel Cruz, had spoken about Alexandra Reis’ departure agreement, in the amount of 500 thousand euros, because the two had been in contact quite regularly about TAP, said Maria Antónia Araújo, at the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the management of the air carrier.
“There was a chain of presumptions. (…) We found out later that it was a wrong presumption”, admits Maria Antónia Araújo. The former chief of staff of Pedro Nuno Santos said during the hearing, which lasted four and a half hours, that the compensation of 500 thousand euros to Alexandra Reis was a “recommendation” of the former executive president, Christine Ourmières-Widener.
The Ministry of Infrastructure “was not a comedy”, said the former chief of staff, in response to a metaphor made by Filipe Melo, from Chega, using Disney characters. They were, she detailed, about 65 people who were “committed there” and who worked with “loyalty and dedication”.
“And I already had the opportunity to clarify many facts that you are fabbling. (…) And in a certain sense I am grateful for having called me here”, he also said in response to Filipe Melo.
Maria Antónia Araújo assured that “there was never political interference in TAP under the terms that the CEO [Christine Ourmières-Widener] mentioned when he was here”.
As of January 4, he no longer has access to dossiers on TAP, he repeated. And he said he was unaware of the “secret meeting” of January 17, with the PS deputies, attended by Christine Ourmières-Widener. The former chief of staff clarified that she only became aware of the meeting when the issue arose through a question from Bernardo Blanco, from the Liberal Initiative.
Source: Expresso by expresso.pt.
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