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Portugal: Former TAP CEO accuses finance minister of blackmail, minister denies

Former TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener has accused Finance Minister Fernando Medina of blackmail and of sacking her for political reasons, statements that were contradicted today by the minister, who described them as “false and regrettable”.

Christine Ourmières-Widener, in an interview with CNN on Monday, said that the finance minister had assured her that he had done “nothing wrong, but he had to” sack her “for political reasons”.

“He strongly advised me to resign for my reputation. I call that blackmail and threatening me, and that’s what he did,” said the company’s former CEO, adding that Fernando Medina had told her “that she could receive a bonus and that the bonus would be discussed” after Ourmières-Widener resigned.

In a statement sent to Lusa, Fernando Medina refuted the manager’s statements.

“The former CEO’s statements regarding the reasons and procedure for her dismissal are false and regrettable,” said the head of Finance.

“I provided all the clarifications in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry and will do so again, if necessary, in the legal proceedings currently underway,” he adds.

The former CEO of TAP, in an interview with CNN, considered that TAP’s response to her lawsuit against the company is “full of lies, attacks and insults”.

“They’re trying to destroy my reputation, my past. They say all sorts of things about me that aren’t true, that I had nothing to do with the company’s success and positive results,” she said.

Asked if there was any chance of an amicable settlement, Ourmières-Widener said she believed “that reasonable people could have the opportunity to have a proper conversation”.

“We’ll see. I don’t know. But I hope that this process has an end and that it has the right end,” she added.

TAP accused Christine Ourmières-Widener of violating the exclusivity regime to which she was obliged at the airline by having accumulated several positions in other companies without informing anyone or obtaining authorisation.

The former CEO of TAP was dismissed for just cause in April 2023, following the controversial compensation of half a million euros to former administrator Alexandra Reis, which led to the resignation of the then Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, and his Secretary of State Hugo Mendes, and the setting up of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the management of the airline.

AAT/ADB // ADB

Lusa

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