The Secretary of State for Finance today refuted the accusations of pressure made by former Minister Álvaro Santos Pereira when he alleged that a member of the Government wanted to remove the word corruption from the OECD report on Portugal.
"If the perception is about pressure, it is a problem of perception surely because what happened was a discussion like there was two years ago. Exactly the same, "he said, when asked whether there might have been a problem of perceiving the former ruler regarding his position in the discussion of the OECD report on Portugal, released in February.
Former Minister Álvaro Santos Pereira said on Wednesday in the parliament that there had been "some discomfort" and that a member of the Government and the Portuguese delegation in the OECD wanted to remove the word corruption from that report, because they considered that "the problem of corruption in Portugal does not is one of the most serious ""
The former minister and rapporteur of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on the economic outlook for Portugal – Economic Survey – 2019, explained in the Assembly's Committee on Constitutional Affairs, Rights, Freedoms and Guarantees that "the team that represented Portugal in the committee was led by Secretary of State for Finance Mourinho Félix."
"The discussion of this report was no different from what was discussed in the last report. It was a discussion in which we participated, where we presented our views and arguments and that is what happened, "he summarized in remarks to journalists in Bucharest, where he went to the informal meeting of the Eurogroup.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Finance pointed out that the OECD is "an extremely reputed international institution, which obviously is not subject to what might be called pressure."
"There is a discussion in which arguments are presented. Arguments were presented, the report has improved and evolved considerably in several respects. The report is a report that I consider balanced in what is the overall assessment that makes of Portugal. There were some chapters that were more discussed, where there were more divergent positions, having to do with the nature of how these issues were being addressed and where we expressed that the treatment should be more objective, "he said.
Mourinho Felix clarified that he disagreed not with references to corruption, but with the drafting of a chapter on corruption based on perceived indicators, because that is a subject that the Government takes "very seriously."
"In this chapter, there was a set of indicators of perception, and what is important is to have a chapter sufficiently grounded on what is being done and what are objective indicators, not with mere perceptions. We can not evaluate a country with only a set of indicators of perception, "he added, indicating that he was concerned" to put Portugal in perspective with other countries, so that a mention in a report on Portugal does not create the idea that this is a particular and greater problem "in the country.
"It is not. In Portugal there is a problem of corruption, as it exists in all developed countries, "he concluded.