The former President of the Republic responded to the inquiry commission to Novo Banco using transcripts of his book “Thursday and Other Days”.
In the answers “to the group of questions related to the BES crisis”, to which the Lusa agency had access, Cavaco Silva he began by mentioning that “the President of the Republic, under the terms of the Constitution, does not have executive power or exercise any function within the scope of the financial system” and that “being a sole body, it does not have services that allow it to collect and process information ‘motu own'”.
“What was mentioned by me on the subject in the exercise of my activity as President of the Republic and which I then considered relevant and which, after more than six years, I can transmit to this commission of inquiry with the rigor that is required of an ex- President of the Republic, appears in the 2nd volume of book ‘Thursday and Other Days’ and what I then transcribe ”, can be read.
In an eight-page document in which he jointly answers the questions asked by BE, PS, Cavaco Silva clarifies that, during his terms as President of the Republic, he adopted “the practice of receiving the presidents of the Boards of Directors of the banks who request a hearing”.
“And from what relevant I heard it gave acquaintance to the prime minister at the following Thursday meeting. In the same way, I proceeded in relation to the Governor of Banco de Portugal ”, he guaranteed.
Thus, in his reply, Cavaco Silva addressed, using passages from his book, topics such as the entry of Vítor Bento to the presidency of Banco Espírito Santo (BES), his concern with the exposure of the Espírito Santo Group (GES) to the BES, statements to journalists about GES, the bank’s exposure to BES Angola (BESA) and contacts with Luanda, concern about BES resolution, the renewal of Carlos Costa as governor of Banco de Portugal in 2015, or the financing their election campaigns.
The former President also used passages in his work to reiterate that he never asked for money for election campaigns, ensuring the accuracy of the accounts.
“I always had a strong aversion to asking for money for election campaigns. I have never done so in my political life. The independence of the President of the Republic in relation to the parties, one of my basic political principles, requires that he does not depend on any party force to finance the election. ”
According to the quote from the book by Cavaco Silva recovered today, in 2006 Eduardo Catroga, Ricardo Bayão Horta and José Falcão e Cunha “took care of the problem of financing the campaign in strict compliance with the law and without any recourse to party sources”.
“José António da Ponte Zeferino, as my financial representative, guaranteed the accuracy of the accounts”, quotes Cavaco Silva, and “Vasco Valdez, who had been Secretary of State for Tax Affairs” in his Government, “ensured the accuracy of the campaign accounts as financial agent ”.
Cavaco Silva also refers to having in his possession the judgment of the Constitutional Court 98/2016, of February 16, 2014, “on the records of appreciation of the accounts of the electoral campaign for the Presidential elections held on January 23, 2011”.
“I would add, however, that the accounts of my electoral campaigns related to the election for President of the Republic, presented in due time to the Entity of Accounts and Political Financing under the terms of the legislation in force, are available and can be consulted by the members of the Commission of Inquiry ”, He wrote.
Aníbal Cavaco Silva also refers to a statement from his 2011 campaign, stating that he “used only 16.2% of the state subsidy that would correspond to the electoral result obtained ”.