PSD slams TAP report as a “whitewash”

 In Airlines, Companies, News, TAP

TAP report makes 10 conclusions

A 180-page preliminary report from a parliamentary inquiry into the way State-owned airline TAP has been managed in recent years, including when it was part-privatised, have been published this week.

The report, which covers management and political conduct regarding the airline since 2015 has painted a relatively positive picture of the government, slated the PSD party and hammered the former airline executives.
However, the preliminary report found “there are no situations with material relevance that show a practice of interference in the day-to-day management of the company by the superiors” and that “the majority of testimonies point to no interference or political interference of the superiors in the day-to-day management of the company”.
Portuguese MP Ana Paula Bernardo who was responsible for the report said on Wednesday at a press conference that the document is not a “Socialist Party version” — i.e, a whitewash.
However, the main opposition party, the PSD has called it exactly that saying the report is a “farse”, a “fiction” and “factional” as well a as a “whitewash” of the government’s responsibility.
The leader of Portugal’s largest opposition party, PSD, on Wednesday, called the conclusions of the report on the investigation of TAP “a democratic disgrace of no value”, considering that they are “strictly socialist” and do not reflect what happened in the inquiry committee.
PSD leader Luís Montenegro said the report, presented by the rapporteur and PS MP, was “biased, tendentious” and “an attempt to whitewash” the government’s responsibilities.
In an attack on the Prime Minister, António Costa, he said: “The prime minister often follows this strategy. Until now, he did not speak because the commission was working, now it is because they are not the final conclusions, when they are, he will say that it is not necessary to speak at all because everything is fine,” said Montenegro.

The main conclusions were:

Directors were responsible for a lack of management contracts.
Christine Ourmières-Widener was guilty of the illegal departure of Alexandra Reis.
Appointment of Alexandra Reis at NAV (Portugal’s Air traffic Control entity) had nothing to do with her departure from TAP.
The dismissal of CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener and Chairman Manuel Beja followed the regulations.
Former TAP directors failed to provide full information.
There were discriminatory practices over bonus payments.
There was no mismanagement at TAP. In cases which could have been considered as such, there were reasons to justify the decisions taken.
Ex-PSD PM Pedro Passos Coelho was criticised over the privatisation process in 2015.
Atlantic Gateway failed to use its own capital to capitalise TAP as required to do under the privatisation contract.
PSD was responsible for €55 million payout to ex majority shareholder David Neeleman.

Reacting to the preliminary report, the lawyer representing ex-CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener said her client was “shocked” by the findings which “bore no relation to the truth”.
She said in a statement to Jornal Económico that the conclusions were “sad and not to be taken seriously”.
“This is another document made to measure that aims to give a legal varnish to what were purely politically motivated dismissals. It has failings and serious emissions and only the witness statements that were of interest to the government were included” said the lawyer Inês Arruda, partner of law firm Vasconcelos, Arruda & Associados, adding that the report is “far from reflecting what happened”.