Portugal's TAP loan conditional on increased influence in decision-making

30 April, 2020

Portugal's Minister for Infrastructure and Housing Pedro Nuno Santos commented on the plan for the Government of Portugal to assist TAP Air Portugal, stating: "[If] the State shoves money in [TAP], if we give one cent, and the private [shareholders] doesn't give anything, what happens? The State gets the majority share role" (Presstur/Publico, 29-Apr-2020). He added: "I think the company was ill managed prior to the COVID-19". Mr Santos questioned: "[Do you think] a EUR350 million loan, a loan from the Portuguese people, will solve TAP's issues? What if the carrier cannot pay?". He concluded: "If it is the Portuguese people who pays, it better be the Portuguese people who calls the shots [managing TAP]". As previously reported by CAPA, the loan being referred to is a EUR350 million private loan which TAP shareholders independently sourced and requested the Portuguese state to act as guarantor.