PSD calls for urgent debate on Efacec privatization

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The Portuguese Social Democratic Party (PSD) will call for an urgent parliamentary debate on the privatization of Efacec, as it considers that the government has acted in an opaque manner and that the Minister for the Economy has left several questions unanswered.

PSD MP Paulo Rios de Oliveira said that, in the case of Efacec, “the Portuguese were informed and assured that it was a short-term operation, in which the state would nationalize to save the company and immediately hand it over to a private party, it was a short-term operation – it was in July 2020”.

The Social Democrat said that the government “already announced the sale [of Efacec] in 2022 and it hasn’t materialized”, expressing “real concern” following the press conference of the Minister of Economy and Sea, António Costa Silva, who announced on Wednesday that the executive had approved the proposal of the German company Mutares.

According to him, the Minister’s statements have left “questions, concerns and perplexities”.

“First of all, they didn’t announce the sale, they announced the sale project. How much are you going to pay? We don’t know. What is the project? We don’t know. How is the participation of other creditors necessary for the project to be accepted? We don’t know. What is the creative model that will enable the State to recoup its investment? We don’t know. To what extent? We don’t know,” said Paulo Rios de Oliveira.

“A press conference full of opacity. The PSD does not accept this way of governing, has never accepted it, and even less in a case like this and especially in a company that costs the Portuguese more than 10 million euros a month. This is unacceptable, and the appropriate place to debate this issue is Parliament”, he added.

According to the rules of the Assembly of the Republic, the presence of the government at emergency debates is mandatory, “through one of its members”, and the Social Democrats hope that it will be the Minister for the Economy and the Sea, António Costa Silva, who will appear before parliament.

The rules state that “an emergency debate may be held at the request of a parliamentary group within a fortnight”.

The parliamentary rules also stipulate that the debate must be requested from the President of the Assembly of the Republic, with an indication of the subject, “from Friday of the previous week and until 11 a.m. of the same day in the case of debates scheduled for the plenary session on Wednesday and Thursday”.

On Wednesday, at a press conference in Lisbon, the Minister for the Economy and the Sea declared that the proposal from the German company Mutares had been “carefully analyzed” and that it guaranteed the government “comfort” as to the future and maintenance of Efacec as a “major industrial and technological project”.

On April 11, Parpública announced that it had received improved, binding proposals from four candidates for the purchase of 71.73% of Efacec, as part of the company’s reprivatization process.

Improved binding offers were submitted by Mutares, Oaktree, Oxy Capital and the Visabeira-Sodecia consortium.

In November last year, the government approved a new reprivatization process for the state’s 71.73% stake, with new specifications, after announcing on October 28 that the sale of Efacec to the DST group had not been concluded because “all the necessary conditions” for the sale agreement had not been met.

Government announces the sale of Efacec to a German fund

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