Former TAP CEO accuses finance minister of blackmail

 In Aviation, News, TAP

Former TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener has accused Finance Minister Fernando Medina of blackmail and of sacking her for political reasons — statements that were contradicted yesterday by Medina, who described them as “false and regrettable”.

In interview with CNN Portugal, Ms Ourmières-Widener – who is suing the Portuguese State for nearly €6 million for wrongful dismissal — said that Medina had assured her she had done “nothing wrong, but he had to” sack her “for political reasons” reports Lusa and the Portugal Resident.
“He strongly advised me to resign for my reputation. I call that blackmail and threatening me — and that’s what he did,” she said, adding that the finance minister also told her “that she could receive a bonus and that the bonus would be discussed” after she had resigned.
In a statement sent to Lusa, Fernando Medina has refuted all these statements.
“The former CEO’s statements regarding the reasons and procedure for her dismissal are false and regrettable,” he said.
“I provided all the clarifications in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry and will do so again, if necessary, in legal proceedings currently underway,” he added.
During her interview, Ms Ourmières Widener said that TAP’s response to her lawsuit is “full of lies, attacks and insults”.
“They’re trying to destroy my reputation, my past. They say all sorts of things about me that aren’t true, that I had nothing to do with the company’s success and positive results,” which have been constantly mentioned during the election campaign.
Asked if there was any chance of an amicable settlement, Ourmières-Widener said she believed “reasonable people could have the opportunity to have a proper conversation”.
“We’ll see. I don’t know. But I hope that this process has an end and that it has the right end,” she told CNN.
TAP has accused Ms Ourmières-Widener of violating the exclusivity regime to which she was obliged at the airline by having “accumulated several positions in other companies without informing anyone or obtaining authorisation”. It is an accusation she has already refuted.
The former CEO of TAP was dismissed for ‘just cause’ in April 2023, following the illegal compensation of half a million euros paid to former TAP director Alexandra Reis, which led to a number of high profile resignations, including that of the then Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, who is now running for prime minister.