Petroleum company boss appointed as Covid economy guru

 In Business, News

An academic and oil industry director has been invited by Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa to oversee the preparation of Portugal’s Economic Recovery Plan.

António Costa e Silva, the manager of Thai-owned petroleum company Partex, was invited to coordinate the Government’s recovery programme on 31 May and will fulfil the post until the Supplementary Budget is approved.
The invitation has been accepted ‘pro-bono’ as a “civic contribution” for which the manager has been working on over the past fee weeks, while “members of the Government have their time taken up by the current phase of the Economic and Social Stability Programme and Supplementary Budget.”
The goal is that this preparatory work should be completed by the time the Government’s Supplementary budget is approved, at a time when the Minister of State, of the Economy and Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira will then take on the management for the Recovery Programme according to the prime minister’s office.
According to the newspaper Expresso, the Prime Minister invited the manager of Partex, António Costa Silva to negotiate the economic restart plan with ministers, political parties and social partners.
However, the parties on the far left (Bloco Esquerda) and centre right (CDS-PP) have rejected any negotiation with a Dominic Cummings type of ‘paraminister’.
“The prime minister is advised by whoever he thinks can do this job, and is free to choose. The Bloco de Esquerda, would naturally negotiate with members of the Government, as it has done up until now and according to democratic rules of transparency” said the leader of the BE, Catarina Martins, stressing that the “figure of a paraminister cannot exist.”
The CDS-PP party said that it planned to discuss the country’s economic recovery with “Costa and Siza” (Meaning the Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy) and “not with Costa Silva.”
Partex Oil and Gas (Holdings) Corporation is an oil company that was wholly owned by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon until sold in June 2019 to a Thai company.