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Portugal’s infrastructure minister quits over TAP controversy

After a backlash against the substantial severance pay that a TAP secretary received, the state-owned air carrier, the Portuguese Infrastructure Minister Pedro Nuno Santos quit on Thursday (29/12). He was responsible for this.

The scandal surrounding Alexandra Reis, the Treasury Secretary to State, which resigned Wednesday 28 December amid a crisis of cost-of-living has embroiled the Socialist government headed by Premier Antonio Costa.

Opposition parties have harshly criticized the government’s inflexible hiring practices. They demanded Reis be fired and TAP return the money she received from TAP for quitting as a board member in accordance with mutual agreements last February.

Reis claimed that she had asked for what was legally hers when she took over the Treasury department in December. This claim was later confirmed by the government and the airline.


TAP’s legal department and an outside law firm monitored the whole process, according to the government. However, there was no information provided regarding legal questions surrounding the signing of the agreement.

Jornal de Negocios (a Portuguese newspaper) reported that Reis was leaving TAP and that the Infrastructure Ministry knew the amount she was going to receive.

TAP, in which the Portuguese state controls 72.5%, was saved by a EUR3.2 billion rescue plan approved by Brussels. It has cut its fleet and eliminated thousands more jobs in an attempt to maximize profits over the next years.


To demand better wages and working conditions, the cabin crew staged a two-day strike.

Nuno Santos was responsible for TAP. His ministry released a statement stating that he had accepted “political responsibility” for the situation and that he was resigning to the prime minister.

According to the statement, Hugo Mendes, infrastructure secretary-of-state, also resigned.

Costa’s office confirmed that Costa had resigned. The prime minister thanked Nuno Santas and acknowledged his many years in government service since 2015.

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