The President of the Republic said this Tuesday that he understands the “government’s concern” to ensure “that there are no problems” with the appointment of Vítor Fernandes to the Banco de Fomento, before he starts his duties.
Speaking to journalists at the National Museum of Ancient Art, in Lisbon, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa did not want to take a position on whether Vítor Fernandes is or is not able to exercise these functions or comment on his involvement in the Red Card operation.
I will not now be commenting on an issue that is in court, therefore, only the court will be able to answer this matter”, considered.
Asked about the Government’s decision to suspend the appointment of Vítor Fernandes to the Banco de Fomento, the head of State began by answering: “I will not comment, it is an option of the Government“.
Afterwards, he said that he was informed of this decision before the Minister of State and Economy announced it publicly, adding: “I don’t want to be commenting, but I understand the concern of, in such an important position, wanting to be sure, before starting my duties, that there are no problems that will affect what is essential for the Portuguese.”
The businessman and president of Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Luís Filipe Vieira, who in the meantime suspended himself from exercising these functions after being detained under the Red Card operation, is prevented from contacting the other defendants in this process, with the exception of his son, and also , among others, with Vítor Fernandes.
This was one of the coercive measures applied to Luís Filipe Vieira as the accused in this process, which investigates suspected crimes of breach of trust, qualified fraud, forgery, tax fraud and money laundering. The businessman is under house arrest until the provision of a guarantee of three million euros, and is prohibited from leaving the country with the delivery of his passport.
With regard to the appointment of the president of Banco de Fomento, the President of the Republic highlighted the role of this institution in the management of European funds and argued that it would be important that “there were no doubts about the team that will come forward with a key position in the execution. ” of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR).
On the other hand, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reiterated the message that there must be “a certain continuity” in the application of the PRR and all European funds, “regardless of who is the Government at any given time”.
“As you know, the plan is very long, it is a six-year plan, and the multi-year financial framework is seven years. There will be many elections in between. It would be important that the main part of the plan was not affected by elections,” he said.