The Porto Commercial Association reacted to the Supreme Administrative Court's decision not to accept the precautionary measure aimed at preventing the Portuguese State from making a financial injection of up to 1,2 billion euros in TAP
Although the process has not progressed, the Associação Comercial do Porto says that “it has fulfilled its civic duty and its social responsibilities. The initiative was able to raise awareness in civil society, opening the public debate on the role of TAP and on the usefulness of the existence of an airline called "flag".
“The action also came to question the application of public money in companies called“ strategic ”, forcing the political powers and the Government to define their position. It should be remembered that, after and as a result of the entry of the precautionary measure, the Portuguese State came to strengthen its shareholding position in TAP, becoming a large majority and, to that extent and from now on, responsible for the management decisions that are taken, ”according to the association.
“We have fulfilled our first obligation, which is to defend the interests of Porto and the north. And we fulfill our duty to defend the interests of Portuguese citizens, demanding scrutiny, rigor and transparency in the application of public funds. We forced the Government to come and explain itself about this financial injection. Now we are really sure that TAP is a New Bank. Especially because, as we have seen, Novo Banco itself is increasingly similar to TAP, ”said Nuno Botelho, president of ACP, in a statement.
The association based in Porto pointed out that “the recovery of tourism and the economic recovery are necessarily based on good air connections to the main destinations. We are talking, in addition to Lisbon, Porto, the Algarve, Madeira and the Azores, in the tourist segment, and we are talking about Porto airport in terms of coverage of the region with the highest gross added value and with the greatest weight in Portuguese exports, which is the North. All of us, in addition to Lisbon, know that we still do not have TAP. We count, a lot, on foreign companies, on flag and low-cost companies, and yes, we will be able to set an example and lead the recovery from the crisis ”, said Nuno Botelho.
On June 26 it was reported that the Commercial Association of Porto had filed this process after several entities in Porto and the North region had expressed their displeasure in relation to the airline's resumption plan from and from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport from June. The plan foresaw 27 weekly calls starting in June and 247 starting in July, most from Lisbon, which caused much criticism in the northern region of the country.
The Porto Commercial Association now has 15 days to appeal this decision. On July 2, the Council of Ministers approved a resolution that recognizes the exceptional public interest underlying the operation to assist the company ”, an instrument approved with the objective of curbing the precautionary measure to TAP.
One of the most audible voices in these criticisms was that of the mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira. “Let us not try for a moment to hide reality. The reality is simple: TAP is trying to impose confinement on Porto and the north. Porto, Trás-os-Montes, Douro and Minho, and the northern part of the central region, are also part of Portugal ”, said Rui Moreira on May 26, when the company announced that it would make three calls a day in July.
With this action, the Associação Comercial Portuense also intended to ensure 80% of flights operated before the pandemic for Porto, instead of TAP's recovery plan concentrated on 97% of operations at Lisbon Airport.