Portugal’s main opposition party has criticised what it termed the “unforgivable” situation of state bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD), whose chairman had refused to stay on the extra few days until his replacement was to take over as the Socialist government had asked, and blamed the prime minister and finance minister for the undesirable situation.
“CGD is going through an unforgivable situation and the minister of finance [Mário Centeno] and prime minister [António Costa] are responsible,” Hugo Soares, a deputy for the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD), told journalists before a session of the parliamentary committee of inquiry into the bank’s management: “We’ve never seen anything like this.”
The CGD chairman, António Domingues, resigned after parliament approved legislation requiring the bank’s board members to reveal full details of their wealth and income, in line with the rules for top public officials, but counter to an agreement he had reached with the government before his appointment.
“The PSD vehemently laments the situation that CGD has come to, being managed by SMS and email,” Soares said, in a reference to the fact that the new board has not yet taken over. This, he added, when the state bank “should today be at the service of the economy”.
The PSD deputy also criticised what he said was “mediocre” economic growth in the past year, adding that the country’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, also made reference to the weakness of growth, in his New Year’s address to the nation.