The PSD, the largest opposition party, considers that the dam business may have been articulated “from the beginning and at the highest level between the Government and EDP” so that the company would not pay taxes.
This Monday, the orange party made a publication in the Facebook in which he points the finger at the Government, in a humorous way.
According to Notícias ao Minuto, in a “manual” entitled “‘How to evade 110 million taxes’, sponsored by António Costa and EDP ”, the PSD explains six lessons.
- Lesson number 1: “You ask friends of the Government to change the law as it suits you”;
- Lesson number 2: “You create a new company to manage the assets you want to sell”, a reference to the creation of Camirengia, by EDP.
- Lesson number 3: “You ask anyone who wants to buy, to create a new company within the same group”, that is, the creation of Águas Profesas by Engie.
- Lesson number 4: “Instead of selling the assets directly, you sell the shares of the company that manages the assets to the new company created for the purchase”, noting that Águas Profesas buys the shares of Camirengia.
- Lesson number 5: “With the change in the law that your Government friends were able to complete the deal without paying taxes”;
- Lesson number 6: “If you are caught, ask your Government friends to ignore negative opinions experts and to defend you ”.
In the same publication, the PSD explains that, for the Prime Minister, “nothing is within the competence of this Government”.
However, “in the sale of EDP dams”, it was incumbent upon him not to change a law that would allow for a fiscal toll; do not ignore a negative technical opinion from the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) ”and“ do not allow 110 million euros in taxes to escape ”.
Joacine recommends to the Government “legal nullity”
The non-registered deputy Joacine Katar Moreira recommended the Government to assume “Legal nullity” of the transfer the concession of the six EDP dams, defending the determination of the responsibilities of those involved, including members of the Executive.
In a draft resolution sent to Lusa, the non-registered deputy writes that EDP used the “pretext of restructuring and spin-off for the effective sale of the exploration business by transfer,” transmitting the concession of the six Douro dams “for the property of a consortium led by Engie, using a vehicle partnership ”.
Recalling the internal opinion of the director of the Water Resources department of APA, “unfavorable to the business in question”, Joacine refers that the same agency issued a favorable final opinion in November 2020, “in favor of the New Society and, after the subsequent operation merger company, Águas Águas, ” without the first being constituted on the date or if it had been constituted a posteriori “.
In the initiative – which has no force of law, constituting itself as a recommendation – Katar Moreira says that “the New Society, to whom the concessions for the exploitation of hydroelectric plants should have been transmitted according to APA authorization, never reached exist ”, describing in the text a“ complex process ”of creating companies before the deal is finalized.
“Apparently, this complex process of creating new companies, spin-offs and mergers served only the sole purpose of the companies involved, EDP and Engie, shy away from paying taxes due, namely regarding IRC and Stamp Duty, trying to take advantage of exceptions provided for in the tax codes to allow the reorganization of business
Thus, Katar Moreira recommends that the executive “assume the legal nullity of the transmission of the concessions of the six hydroelectric plants from EDP to Engie”, using “all the legal means at his disposal“, since this is based on an opinion from the Portuguese Agency of the Environment “that suffers from addiction, since it authorizes its transmission to a non-existent entity”.
The deputy defends that “all the responsibilities on the part of the organisms that operate in dependence on the State”, such as the APA, “in relation to their duty of objectivity, justice and truthfulness in the process” and the “legal responsibilities of the companies involved in the suspicion of tax fraud and influence traffic ”.
Joacine also wants to know the political responsibilities of the members of the Government who, “despite having been alerted in time to the contours and the vicissitudes of the business, ended up authorizing it”.
Finally, he suggests that the Executive “amend tax law to prevent, in a definitive and clear way, all attempts to misuse legal provisions designed to favor business activity ”.
On November 13, 2020 it was announced that the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) had approved the sale of EDP dams (Miranda, Bemposta, Picote, Baixo Sabor and Foz-Tua) to Engie. On December 17, EDP concluded the sale for 2,200 million euros of six dams in the Douro river basin to a consortium of investors formed by Engie, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Mirova.
The deal has led opposition parties to cast several doubts, namely about the fact that EDP did not pay the Stamp Duty in the amount of 110 million euros.
Liliana Malainho, ZAP // Lusa