HomeEconomyMinister of Economy changed AICEP without criticizing the previous...

Minister of Economy changed AICEP without criticizing the previous administration and without thinking about compensations (which will not materialize)

“You will not hear me criticising the previous administration of AICEP (Portuguese Investment and Foreign Trade Agency),” began Pedro Reis, Minister of Economy, in the parliamentary hearing to which he was summoned to explain the dismissals in that organisation and the appointment of a new management team. Without criticising the previous administration, which he says he respects and considers, he admits that what led the Government to change the people at AICEP is to “give a new impetus” to the entity.

“I know the house and the dynamics and what can be taken out of the house,” said the person who ended the audience, responding like a former president of AICEP who praised the organization’s staff.

Guaranteeing that this was not the moment that led to the change of team at the beginning of June (a few more days and they would have to pay compensation to the former coaches), he says that it is time to start normalising the decisions of having reliable teams. He again speaks of a team that revitalises and gives a new impetus to the AICEP, a team, he said, prepared “for new cycles” and a new programme with a review of the foreign network, more attraction of investments, investment in the Portugal brand, adaptation to new working models and “catching up with the delays in the closing of some programmes”. But he again says that “it is not that they were doing anything wrong, but I understand that more can be done, with different speed and freshness”.

Hugo Costa, a socialist deputy, says that dismissals are politically motivated and that the timing of the dismissals is coincidental so that compensation is not due. “These are not the reasons that led me to recommend a change of administration. It is certainly not the game of quotes. I don’t know if it applies. It wasn’t.” And as for political alignment, he rejects it as ideological alignment. “It is a question of trust and management. Politically uncontaminated. People’s journeys speak for themselves to defend my thesis or corroborate my interpretation.”

And he begins to list the CVs of those chosen, with Ricardo Arroja at the head. But after praising Madalena Oliveira e Silva – “perhaps one of the most reputable, respected and accredited people in the public administration in this field of monitoring incentives, she has a long career that only ennobles the public administration” – and Joana Gaspar – “a new talent”, or even Francisco Catalão, he was confronted by Hugo Costa about some of these names. That is, that of Madalena Oliveira e Silva, who had already been in the administration of AICEP, specifically when some Selectiva Moda projects were approved and which were now the subject of an audit that required a disciplinary procedure within AICEP.

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“To protect your good name, [Madalena Oliveira e Silva] He never had the incentives area, there was a separation of functions and he is immune in that matter.” He also removed Operación Maestro from the dismissal of the previous administration: “I have no evidence of the relationship between the new administration or the relationship between the previous administration and Operación Maestro. I did not intend or incorporate any value judgment on this issue. They are really completely separate issues,” Pedro Reis assured.

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Regarding Operation Maestro, he also indicated that after receiving the audit and the report from AD&C (Agency for Development and Cohesion) on Tuesday, he requested a detailed action plan indicating the actions and measures taken to avoid irregularities in the decision on the funds. “We received a report and gave instructions to investigate good practices and identify inaccuracies,” he added.

Pedro Reis was also questioned by Hugo Costa about another member he chose for the administration, Joana Gaspar, who, according to the deputy, had been in union negotiations with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but did not respond.

The Minister of Economy assumes, in any case, that he chose the team with complete autonomy and freedom. “It is possible that a person has respect and consideration for the work done by the previous council and understands that it is necessary to address a new cycle, give a new direction, review priorities or that it is necessary to change to another program and another mandate.”

Source: Observadora

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