"A minister who lied in this house is unable to continue"

The former Minister of Defense and current Minister of Foreign Affairs will be at the Assembly of the Republic (AR) this afternoon, to “debate the general policy of the Ministry and other current affairs”. And what other matters are these? Among them is the most recent controversy: the skid in the works of the former Military Hospital.

The Social Democratic Party (PSD) was the first to intervene in the parliamentary committee and chose a simple and succinct word to characterize the functions of the Minister of Foreign Affairs: “No”.

“Your Excellency does not have the conditions to continue in office (…) and with credibility. Your performance as a member of the Government is mortally wounded”, said deputy João Montenegro, adding that “a minister who lied in this house, has no conditions to continue”.

Even so, he asked Minister Gomes Cravinho three questions. Does the climate of suspicion and contradictory facts harm Portugal’s image abroad? If he had to answer the 36 questions on the ballot engine, would he still be sitting in that chair as a minister? Shouldn’t he resign from his executive duties?

In response, Gomes Cravinho only stressed that we are facing “many insinuations” without foundation, circumventing PSD issues.

This hearing, it should be noted, takes place after the minister himself has denied, from Brussels, the news advanced last Friday by the newspaper Expresso and which reported that, after all, Gomes Cravinho not only knew but authorized this expense . That is, the cost of the work would be one million euros higher than expected.

About a month ago, the minister also stated in Parliament, remember, that he never authorized an increase in expenditure on works, which had an initial budget of 750,000 euros, but which ended up costing practically three times as much.

Supporting the information, the weekly Expresso released a document that proves that, after all, João Gomes Cravinho was informed of the increase in costs almost three years ago.

This document indicated that, to the initial cost of the work (750,000 euros), other amounts related to extra work requested by the Army should be added, in the amount of over 420,000 euros. Other additional requirements of the new clinical direction of the hospital are also referred to, which could reach 500 thousand euros.

That is, the value of the works was already 920 thousand euros, and in the end it ended up costing 3.2 million euros – four times that of the first budget.

Already this Tuesday, faced with the fact that the Minister of Foreign Affairs has assumed that, as holder of the Defense portfolio, in the previous Government, he was aware of the slippage in the costs of the works of the former Military Hospital of Belém, António Costa assured that he maintains “confidence in the members of the Government who are in office”.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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