The president of EDP Renováveis will be heard on Tuesday, December 18, in Parliament on excessive rents. Appointed, like the former minister of Manuel Pinho, as the central figure in the suspected relations between the power company and the government, the PSD will point out the batteries to Manso Neto in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on excessive rents in the electricity sector. He wants to know if EDP would have access to confidential information from the office of the then Minister of Economy and a central role in the drafting of legal diplomas such as the draft legislation of the so-called CEMC that was to the Council of Ministers.
"We already know a lot about this subject, but there are many lapses of memory and many loose ends to explain. The mails exchanged between EDP and the cabinet of the minister Manuel Pinho, indicate extremely worrying aspects, and are matters that need more scrutiny, "said Social Democrat deputy Jorge Paulo in anticipation of today's hearing of Manso Neto.
The deputy of the PSD, a member of the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee, recalls that EDP would have access to confidential information from the office of the then Minister of Economy and a central role in the drafting of legal diplomas, hence the CMEC (Maintenance Costs of Contractual Equilibrium).
"None of this can be considered normal. On the contrary, all this is very suspect and at least reveals, without a doubt, that it was accepted that EDP's private interest was the starting point for the negotiation process, long before the public interest ", he points out, referring to legislation which EDP has drafted and which has guaranteed excessive revenues. In issue is a draft of the legislation of the so-called CMEC, proposed by the national electricity company that went to the Council of Ministers.
It is recalled that the CMEC – the compensation for the early termination of the power purchase contracts (PPAs) entered into between the State and EDP in 1995, in preparation for the "liberalization of the electricity market" and the privatization of the company – resulted in effective remuneration of 14%, paid by the consumer.
The sector regulator estimates that EDP has grossly charged 510 million under the CMEC legal regime that was established in 2004 at the end of the Santana Lopes government.
PSD expects "giant step" in the clearance of acts of favoring EDP
The PSD deputy, Jorge Paulo, has no doubts: "The hearings of Dr. João Manso Neto and Dr. Manuel Pinto, two of the main protagonists, are crucial for truth-finding." It explains here that it is the conviction of the Parliamentary Group of the PSD that, at the end of these two hearings, with Pinho being scheduled for next Thursday, the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry in this particular area "will have taken a giant step in the tabulation of any acts of favoring on the part of the government regarding EDP and even of any acts of unjust enrichment of holders of political offices. "
He also said that questions about the financing of the energy course of Columbia University in the USA by EDP that hired Manuel Pinho as professor and on the identification of possible relations between EDP and GES and the possible favoring of GES in the area of will be part of the "menu" of questions to be asked by Social Democrats.
Jorge Paulo emphasizes that the PSD intends to concentrate its attention on the issue of the extension of the public water domain: "in concrete terms, it addresses all aspects related to the decision to extend the operation of 27 dams without a public tender. The rationale of this political decision, the delivery of the extension of this right, for a price less than 800 million euros to the assessment of REN, at the time the 'armed arm' of the State in the Energy Sector.
According to PSD, there is also the alleged concealment of the studies and original contracts signed with EDP by the Ministry of Economy by the Ministry of Economy, the amendment of the methodology imposed by the Government on the working group responsible for drafting the accounts , all the preparatory acts on the legislation approved for that purpose, who made, who asked, who recommended, who, at each moment in the process, made technical or political decisions.
"This is where the approach of the PSD will pass," he concludes.
Draft legislation caught up in emails
The newspaper Expresso last November revealed e-mails from João Manso Neto where EDP itself presents the legislation that determined the revenues paid by the State to the company since 2007. João Manso Neto, current leader of EDP Renováveis, submitted to António Mexia, president of the electric company, a draft that was then handed over to the government of José Sócrates, entering the CMECs in force from 2007. This revelation is based on an e-mail conversation between Manso Neto and António Mexia.
"This is the RCM draft [resolução de conselho de ministros] which we proposed to the Government. I know that Dr. Miguel Barreto and Dr. Rui Cartaxo are making some formal adjustments, "reads the email. Miguel Barreto was general director of energy and, Rui Cartaxo, was an advisor to the then Minister of Economy Manuel Pinho.
Manso Neto will also send an email to António Castro Guerra, Secretary of State for Industry at the time. The Expresso reported on its contents: "Dear Mr. Professor, as agreed at our meeting yesterday, I refer to the draft of the above-mentioned document [a proposta de resolução], which has the agreement of EDP and REN ".
MP reinforces suspicions with new emails between Pinho and Mexia
At the beginning of December of this year, Visão and SIC reported that the Public Prosecutor's Office will have reinforced its suspicions about a privileged relationship between then-minister Manuel Pinho and EDP led by the executive president António Mexia and the administrator João Manso Neto, after the investigation had had access to the electronic mailbox of the president of the electrical.
According to these information agencies, since at least the beginning of 2007 the main national electricity will have had access to confidential information from the Ministry of Economy, related to the CMEC legislation and the diploma that established the water domain – precisely the two diplomas in which Manuel Pinho is suspected of having favored EDP for a minimum value of € 1.2 billion. There will also be emails that reveal direct communications between Mexia and Pinho, such as information that would have been passed on January 31, 2007 by Rui Cartaxo (then an adviser to Manuel Pinho and suspected of passive corruption) to João Manso Neto that the CMEC legislation would only go to the Council of Ministers on 8 February, a week after the scheduled date of 1 February.
Manso Neto will also have suggested to Cartaxo that the government approve "the CMECs diploma quickly" so that "problems with the auditors do not occur." The leader of EDP Renováveis will even have indicated to António Mexia to give "a word" to the then minister Manuel Pinho or the Secretary of State, Castro Guerra, to "reinforce" the ideas of Rui Cartaxo.
The contradictions of Rui Cartaxo
The new emails revealed in December contradict statements made by Rui Cartaxo in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on excessive rents in the electricity sector. Asked by the deputies, Cartaxo stated on October 9 that, as an adviser to Manuel Pinho, he had "no direct intervention" nor did he remember "having been asked for his opinion" regarding the CMEC legislation.
According to Visão magazine, it was also Rui Cartaxo, according to an email from João Manso Neto to António Mexia dated January 8, which reported to the financial administrator of EDP that Caixa Geral de Depósitos and Credit Suisse would be the companies to to contract to carry out the evaluation of the amount to be paid by EDP to stay with the operation of 27 dams, without this procedure being subject to public tender. According to the MP, the extension of the Public Water Domain was also granted without EDP paying a remuneration of 852 million euros – an amount that should have been paid, according to REN, the regulator of the electricity sector.
Survey of incomes with seven defendants
It is recalled that the Public Prosecutor's Office is currently investigating the creation of EDP's CMEC contracts, which were created in 2004 during the Santana Lopes Government, but entered into force in 2007 during the Government of José Sócrates. António Mexia and João Manso Neto are among the defendants, Pinho in the scope of the process that already takes seven defendants between EDP and REN administrators and also Ricardo Salgado – suspected of corrupting the former minister. In issue is an alleged monthly fee of 15,000 euros from GES to Pinho while it was governing.
The former president of BES is suspected of having paid about one million euros to former Minister Manuel Pinho through monthly transfers. Half will have been paid while the economist was still in the Government of Jose Socrates. The investigation believes that these are payments of any favors made by the former minister to the former owner of BES and to EDP, where the bank of Ricardo Salgado was a minority shareholder.
Manuel Pinho was constituted as defendant in the EDP case on July 3, 2017, and no statements were then made or the actual facts imputed were communicated to him, he recalled, at the time, the lawyer, who requested that the ex- minister as an accused considering that "he did not respect fundamental principles of the criminal process". In May of this year, the examining magistrate, Ivo Rosa, justified the defense of the former Minister of Economy and declared null the constitution of Pinho.
Abel Mateus: Manso Neto was "very involved" in the creation of CMECs
According to the former president of the Competition Authority Abel Mateus, Manso Neto was "very involved" in the creation of the CMEC. The revelation was made in September during his hearing before the Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the Payment of Excessive Income to Electricity Producers.
According to Abel Mateus, the current president of EDP Renováveis, João Manso Neto, "was an important person" and was "very involved" in the technical elaboration of CMEC formulas. At the first hearing of the parliamentary inquiry committee on excessive energy rents Abel Mateus was questioned by Mr PS André Pinotes about the importance that the adviser Ricardo Ferreira took on the creation of the diploma in 2004 concerning the creation of CMEC.
"The opinion was written by him [Ricardo Ferreira], in response to our comments made to the minister [Carlos Tavares]. He was an important person, as was Dr. Manso Neto, for example, who was also very involved in the technical elaboration of the formulas and the document, "he said.
According to EDP's website, João Manso Neto, CEO of EDP Renováveis since 2006 and manager of the EDP group, has been in the electricity business since 2003. In an assessment sent on April 16, 2004 to Minister Carlos Tavares that he had Energy Guardianship in Government of Durão Barroso, with the appointment to his advisor Ricardo Ferreira to evaluate the decree-law already appraised in Council of Ministers. A document that had not yet been published. At the time, Abel Mateus warned of eight risks of the draft diploma on the cessation of PPAs and their replacement by the CMEC.