Political crisis in Portugal: the privatization of TAP Air Portugal threatened

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The surprise resignation of the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costaon November 7, jeopardized the privatization of TAP Air Portugalaccording to the Portuguese press.

Air France-KLMwhich is one of the contenders for the takeover of TAP Air Portugal (with Lufthansa and the group IAG) will have to wait. Because no decision concerning TAP will therefore be taken before the formation of the new government, which will follow the early legislative elections scheduled in four months.

Costa, the prime minister, resigned after police raided his official residence as part of a probe into corruption involving its close members and projects related to lithium mining, green energy and a data center. The political crisis is leading to the paralysis and postponement of many of the country’s strategic projects. Local media have highlighted that a series of “important strategic files” which were on the government’s agenda are now compromised, like the privatization of the TAPthe state budget for 2024 and the decision on a new airport For Lisbon.

Although the Portuguese government approved at the beginning of October a decree to begin the process of reprivatization of TAP, with the sale of at least 51% of the company and the 5% reserve for workers, Rebelo de Sousa, the current president of the Portuguese Republic, surprised a few weeks later by vetoing the decree (at the end of October) due to concerns about the lack of transparency of the process. Stressing that TAP was saved by taxpayers and has strategic value for the country, Rebelo de Sousa called for maximum transparency throughout the process.

John Walker Avatar