TAP paid private school fees for directors’ children

State-owned company paid out between €15,000 and €36,000 per year

On top of large salaries, four directors of TAP – now a fully State-owned company bailed out with €3.2 billion in public money – received sizeable subsidies to “help with the education of their children”.

Between 2016 (when TAP was still partially in private hands) to 2022 (when it was wholly in government ownership and mired in numerous issues) four directors benefited from the kind of treatment usually reserved to head honchos in private multinationals.

Christine Ourmières-Widener – the pen-ultimate CEO, currently suing the government for unfair dismissal (and reportedly hoping to receive as much as €3 million if successful) – earned €504,000 per year before her tenure was severed, but still received an additional €15,000 “to help with her children’s education”, reports SIC Notícias today, citing Correio da Manhã.

Raffael Quintas Alves – a name many may have already forgotten  – in place between 2018 and 2021, received around €20,000 per month, and a further €18,500 every year “for the education of his children”.

Antonoaldo Neves, CEO from 2017 until the arrival of Ms Ourmières-Widener, began by receiving €36,000 a year “to help with the education of his children”. This went up when his salary increased to €630,000 per annum.

David Pedrosa, son of former TAP shareholder Humberto Pedrosa, began his days as a TAP director in 2016 receiving around €24,000 a year to help with his children’s education. This also increased as did Pedrosa’s salary.

That these details appear the day after the ‘whitewash’ preliminary findings of the head of the parliamentary commission of inquiry has just added to the outrage of parties in opposition and the frustrations of political commentators.

Ana Paula Bernardo, the Socialist MP who has said she can see no evidence of government meddling in management decisions of TAP has been widely described as a woman ‘living on another planet’.

As one leader writer put it: “Absolute power can construct whatever truth it likes and understands. But the voters will get their moment. And that is what counts…”

In spite of the government’s constant “there is nothing to see here” mantra, everything that could be seen has already been splashed over the nation’s screens media pages.

The use of public money to pay for private education of directors already inordinately well paid is just another ‘disgrace’ in a line of disgraces so long its beginning has already paled into the distance.

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Portugal Resident