The 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.