Passos says Montenegro has disconnected from himself

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Former Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho believes that Luís Montenegro has been concerned about disconnecting himself from his legacy, in an interview released today in which he also reveals that the ‘troika’ did not trust Paulo Portas.

“He [Luís Montenegro] really was a great parliamentary leader. And that’s where the possibility arose for him to create the conditions to make his way to becoming leader of the PSD. So he is part of that heritage and legacy. To what extent does he want to become more disconnected from his own past? I don’t know. It seems to me that it has been very evident in recent times that there has been this concern to try to disconnect,” says Passos Coelho.

In an interview with Observador radio’s “I was there” podcast, the former PSD president says that “to a certain extent” he understands this concern of the current Social Democrat leader and prime minister “because it’s important for parties to be able to look to the future and not always be tied to their past”.

In the conversation with journalist Maria João Avillez, Passos refuses to “create constraints” for Montenegro with his public speeches, but stresses: “Now, I can’t be prevented from saying something about what I think from time to time. And I think for myself, of course”.

In this interview, Passos Coelho reveals that during his government with the CDS-PP, the ‘troika’ (European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund) “from a certain point realized that there was a problem with the CDS” and “started demanding letters signed by Paulo Portas”.

“I don’t think he knows this: in order to prevent the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs from being humiliated, I made the Minister of Finance sign the letter to the institutions with me and him. The three of us signed it. The troika demanded a letter from him alone. Because they didn’t trust him,” he says.

During the seventh evaluation of the institutions that had granted the loan to Portugal during the sovereign debt crisis, Paulo Portas was an obstacle and, says Passos, only the intervention of the then President of the Republic Cavaco Silva prevented the “waste of all the sacrifices of the Portuguese”.

“I couldn’t get Paulo Portas to accept any version. None, none. I even called an extraordinary Council [of Ministers] to explain to the government that we were going to fail the evaluation because Paulo Portas wouldn’t accept it. What would happen from then on was unknown. The troika would say that if we didn’t want to do anything, they wouldn’t send any more money. What happened next? I don’t know, it’s a mystery to me. Paulo Portas changed his mind. I think it was the President of the Republic,” he reveals.

After Portas’ resignation from the government in 2013, which Passos Coelho did not accept, the CDS-PP leader went from Minister of State and Foreign Affairs to Deputy Prime Minister and the relationship between the two changed, with public signs of harmony, culminating in the 2015 election campaign, which they ran in coalition and won, even forming a government, which was brought down by the union of PS, PCP, BE and PEV.

Regarding Cavaco Silva, he said he had “an impeccable relationship” with him.

“And in difficult times I had his support. That was important for the country. If he had failed, the country would have failed too,” said the former prime minister in the interview, in which he also revealed that he had an early perception that his successor, António Costa, was preparing an agreement with the PCP in order to govern, a convergence on the left that also brought together the BE and PEV.

Iris Lavan
Iris Lavan
With a background as a consultant in the medical industry, Iris Lavan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Portugal Pulse. Iris also runs a company in Tel Aviv offering marketing, business development, content creation and public relations services. She holds a degree in economics and management, giving her a solid grounding in business strategy and financial planning. Iris' commitment to Portugal Pulse is reflected not only in her consulting career, but also in her impact on the Portugale media landscape in Israel. She was an interviewer for Hadshot Portugal חדשות פורטוגל, a media outlet that broadcasts news about Portugal in Hebrew, where she provided valuable information on current affairs, healthcare and the economy. Since July 2023, Iris has also been part of the Portugal Pulse team.

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