The committee of inquiry into the collapse of BES today heard a commentary from the Deputy Prime Minister, Paulo Portas but as the questioning drifted from BES onto the submarines case, there was a heated exchange of words between Portas and Socialist MP José Magalhães.
In response to questions posted by Magalhães, Paulo Portas said, "we return to the usual obsession of submarines. The MP is not a policeman, or an investigator, or a prosecutor, or a judge."
"Therefore, I ask you respect the good name of those people who were acquitted in court," said Portas when questioned by José Magalhães about the phone taps relating to the process of buying two submarines by the Government led by Barroso, when Portas was the Minister of Defence.
"There is no doubt that you have a totalitarian mind, because when reality does not match with what you want, you change the reality," said an irritated Portas.
He added: "You're just like Ana Gomes,” referring to the MEP who doggedly has not let the submarine case drop.
Faced with questions from Magalhães about BES, Portas said "the MP is like those children when they lose a game, they ask for a new game just for them."
The chair of the committee asked for people to calm down and to stop arguing but the submarines theme kept surfacing between Portas and Magalhães who relished the opportunity of putting Portas on the spot yet again as to his involvement in the highly suspicious transaction involving proven German bribery and missing millions in 'fees.'
Portas in turn accused the socialist MP of "turning the BES committee of inquiry into a survey on the issue of submarines.”
"When the MP implies that I wanted BES to handle the submarine finances, he is lying. I have always advocated that there should be Portuguese banks in the consortium. As the provider was foreign, it was appropriate that at least there was a national institution financing the deal,” said Portas.
"The only new thing that exists between the current position of José Magalhães and the last time I was here, is that the (submarine) case has been archived. Even an old Stalinist should respect that,” concluded Portas whose anger many will take to be a defensive position over past accusations and unanswered questions relating to the submarine case that continue to mark his career.