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PM - awkward interview on BES, Sócrates and Bank of Portugal

passoscoelho4The prime minister turned up for a planned interview on RTP today and was faced with a barrage of questions about the increasing mountain of sleaze and corruption that has grown unabated during his administration.

Passos Coelho said that nobody is above the law, that he is not going to nationalise Portugal Telecom and that the governor of the Bank of Portugal is "very brave."

The current PM said that he could not, "while Prime Minister," comment on the arrest and detention of former socialist Prime Minister José Sócrates.

Passos Coelho admitted that "it is an unusual case, if not an unprecedented one in Portugal,” and stated that "what is important in constitutional democracy is whether our institutions are strong."

Passos Coelho said that he trusts in the justice system and claimed that "no one is saying that democracy is in danger, as our institutions work."

On the arrest of a former prime minister for money laundering and other alleaged crimes, and senior government officials arrested in the Golden Visa scandal, Passos Coelho said only that "nobody is above the law."

The prime minister also regretted that the Constitutional Court has kicked out the proposal, adopted in Parliament, to criminalise illicit enrichment.

On the situation with Portugal Telecom, Passos Coelho said, "I do not intend to nationalize PT," but argued that the government’s role job be limited to arbitration and to having a strong supervisory role.

As for the Espírito Santo case, Passos Coelho defended the Bank of Portugal and the current governor who has carried on despite calls for his resignation.

Passos Coelho reckons that Carlos Costa is “very brave” and that "what happened at BES was not a supervision problem," adding that there also should be no blame attached to his government in the whole sordid affair.

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+1 #4 Joao Coelho 2014-11-30 07:24
What we have here is the captain of the Costa Concordia. All want to wear the shiny uniform except do the battle or be in charge of the ship when the sh&&t hits the fan.
0 #3 Joao Coelho 2014-11-30 07:20
Proof that Portugal is still a third world country. It's like the old saying, you can take the boy out of the country but you cannot take the country out of the boy.
It's a sad commentary on the country and the EU as Peter Booker has stated. What's clear is that without Germany the EU would have collapsed long ago. This kind of irresponsible and immoral behavior should not be accepted, yet it is.
0 #2 Peter Booker 2014-11-28 11:39
"…adding that there also should be no blame attached to his government in the whole sordid affair."

This remark is so typical of Portugal, and increasingly of other parts of the EU. Yes, I am in charge. Yes, I draw my salary. Yes, I look after my friends. But no, I am not responsible for anything bad which happens in my back garden.

Power and responsibility go together like Ps and Qs, or as Humphrey Lyttleton once famously remarked, ladies and lavatories.
+3 #1 Gordon.R 2014-11-28 09:53
the Constitutional Court has kicked out the proposal, adopted in Parliament, to criminalise illicit enrichment...

yet again Portugal amazes at its backwardness !!!

How can the European Union even begin to function as a unit if there is such wide variation on the interpretation of even the most basic rules of 'civilised behaviour'?

Surely someone gaining materially over and above their basic remuneration (salary) - 'illegally' - through their position in society - whether born into it or through work or 'democracy' - is plain WRONG ?

Morally wrong ?

What is the argument in its favour ... other than 'well everyone is doing it ?

A judge thinking " I've done very well from it and my boy is following in my footsteps as a judge / lawyer / public prosecutor / police or justice official ..... and I don't want some namby-pamby north European do gooder stopping his chance also of the 'grease'.

It is how we Latinos have always done things - so why stop now ?"

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