The members of the Committee on Environment and Spatial Planning of the Assembly of the Republic visited the Tagus River in Castelo Branco on April 1 and 2, ending up staying in the city known as the capital of Beira Baixa, and the stay was awarded by the Parliament to a hotel belonging to the deputy of the PS Hortense Martins and his father, reported this Friday the "Observer".
Contacted by the newspaper online, Hortense Martins made sure that the group of deputies had stayed in the hotel of which he is a partner with his father. The Office of the Secretary-General of the Parliament – an official who oversees all the services of Members on behalf of the HR – justified the choice on the grounds that he was chosen as the "cheapest hotel" after having been presented with two hypotheses by the travel agent who works with Parliament.
Hortense Martins argued that the "hiring" was made to "a travel agency and not to the aforementioned company that owns the aforementioned hotel unit". Therefore, it is "totally unrelated to the issues related to reservations or stays".
The travel agent "indicated in the area of Castelo Branco the hotels Rainha D. Amélia (54 euros / night) and Tryp Colina do Castelo (75 euros / night)" and that these "options were transmitted to the Commission". The secretary general's office, the total cost "amounted to 486 euros", referring to a night for 9 people. This provision of services, being less than 5,000 euros, could be made by simplified direct adjustment.
Still with the justification of the travel agency, which was not identified, the number of contracted overnight stays does not match with the information regarding the delegation that composed the visit, which indicate that at least 11 people would have accommodation in Castelo Branco on the night of 31 of March.
Hortense Martins does not belong to the Committee on Environment and Spatial Planning, according to the data on Parliament's website but, according to the Observer, the Member participated in a meeting and spoke on behalf of the PS bench in an event in Vila Velha de Ródão, a village in the district of Castelo Branco.
However, the socialist also said that "she did not integrate the delegation that went to several districts, which included the district of Castelo Branco." The MP of the PS justified these interventions for having been "always one of the active voices on the affairs of the region, in an uncompromising defense of the interests of the populations and of the public interest".
The committee in question paid a working visit to the Tejo river in Castelo Branco on 1 and 2 April, and the deputies eventually slept in the hotel of the deputy the day before (ie from day 31 to day 1) so that they could be hours at the first point of the program on the first day of the visit: a meeting at 8:30 am on Monday, hosted by the mayor of Castelo Branco and husband of the deputy, Luis Correia.