Costa says he does not devalue corruption and accuses critics of “building a lie”

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The Prime Minister, António Costa, said today that he does not devalue corruption, and that he has demonstrated it in his political career “without rhetoric and with action”, accusing critics of building “a lie”.

“No, I do not devalue corruption. And I have demonstrated it throughout my political life, without rhetoric and with action”, writes the chief executive in an opinion article in the Observador newspaper entitled “Do I devalue corruption?”.

In this article, Costa replies that he does not devalue corruption, but neither does he devalue “lies”.

The Prime Minister goes back in time, arguing that “the profound legislative reform” he produced as Minister of Justice, “the transparency measures” he introduced in municipal management and “the current unprecedented strengthening of the means to fight corruption by the Judicial Police” are a “full response” to the title of the article.

“So why the question? Because throughout the week I have been witnessing the construction of a lie from the misrepresentation of an answer to a question … that was not asked of me,” writes António Costa.

The chief executive refers to a press conference he gave on July 8, before an informal Council of Ministers in Sintra, a day after former Secretary of State for National Defense Marco Capitão Ferreira resigned and was charged in the ‘Perfect Storm’ operation.

In the article, the Prime Minister provides a transcript of the conversation he had with journalists that day and a link to the press conference.

“As you will see, nobody talked about corruption. Neither the journalists when they asked me, nor I when I answered them. No, I don’t devalue corruption, but I don’t devalue lies either,” the Prime Minister said.

On July 8, before an informal Council of Ministers in Sintra, the Prime Minister did not comment on the exoneration of the Secretary of State for National Defense, calling for “justice to be allowed to work”, and ensuring that the Government’s focus is on the concerns of the Portuguese.

“We are going to focus today on what matters to the lives of the Portuguese, and, without wanting to diminish what worries commentators and the political space, what I feel worries people are quite different issues,” he said.

The chief executive stressed that he walks on the street and usually talks to the Portuguese, who express concerns “that have little to do with these issues”, listing topics such as the fight against inflation, improving incomes, challenges in the National Health Service (SNS) and the “enormous transformation of the Portuguese economy”.

“It is what I feel is the fundamental concern that we have to be focused on, because the job of government is to govern with people in mind,” he said.

Asked if, after a year and three months, the government is showing “some wear and tear”, the chief executive replied: “You know that I dedicate myself little to political analysis and more to doing what is my job, which is to govern”.

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