Durão Barroso says that public interest was safeguarded in the design of the CMEC – O Jornal Económico

Durão Barroso says that public interest was safeguarded in the design of the CMEC - O Jornal Económico

This position is defended in one of the 23 responses that Durão Barroso gave in writing to the parliamentary commission of inquiry into the payment of excessive rent to electricity producers, a document that the Lusa agency had access to today, being the only former chief executive, has so far answered the Members' questions.

"The principle behind all the work that the Government has developed in this area was to ensure financial neutrality in the transition from the PPAs [Contratos de Aquisição de Energia] for CMECs so that producers would not receive additional benefits. And the position adopted by my Government would be validated by the European Commission, which concluded that there is no state aid, "he said.

According to the former Social Democrat Prime Minister, "the public interest was therefore duly and scrupulously safeguarded by the guidelines and measures taken" by his government.

"Different thing, about which I have no elements to pronounce, is to evaluate the consequences of the way of the subsequent implementation and changes of the defined regime," he explained.

The government that led, according to Barroso, "notified the European Commission of the legislation in preparation and of course there would have been consultations and clarifications in this process", but, he says, he did not intervene in it.

Durão Barroso's term as prime minister between 2002 and 2004 ended with his resignation as President of the European Commission and Pedro Santana Lopes was replaced as chief executive.

Durão Barroso also stressed that "the Commission's definitive response to the legislative bill came already after" its government.

"It was therefore up to the next Government to decide on the next steps and, as is well known, any government has the freedom to re-examine the processes transmitted by those who preceded it," he said.

According to the preliminary version of the final report of the committee of inquiry drawn up by Mr Jorge Costa, during the process of termination of the PPAs and transition to the market, the Government received legal arguments from the ERSE regulator which defended the legal feasibility of a revision of the contractual balance and proposals for alternative CMEC models by the Competition Authority and ERSE, namely a model of virtual capacity auctions.

But what ultimately ended up in the political decision of the CMEC model in 2003 and 2004 was "the importance of the PPAs in the value of EDP and the company's position vis-à-vis Spanish competition in the future Iberian market. Both concerns must be read in the light of the ongoing process of privatization of the company. "

And it also highlights the report to which the Lusa agency had access, that "a few days after the entry into the Assembly of the Republic of the application for legislative authorization that included the draft decree-law that created the CMEC [240/2004], was approved by Decree-Law no. 218-A / 2004, of October 25, authorizing EDP's capital increase, which reduced the State's share from 31% to 25%. "

Accordingly, the maintenance of the contractual equilibrium of the PPAs was a political decision of the Durão Barroso government, which was already consummated under the Santana Lopes government with the approval of Decree-Law 240/2004.

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