(Bloomberg) — Portuguese minister Pedro Nuno Santos resigned following criticism about the compensation paid earlier this year to a board member for leaving TAP SA, the state-owned airline that’s receiving more than €2 billion ($2.1 billion) of government aid.
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Prime Minister Antonio Costa accepted the resignation by Santos, who held the infrastructure and housing portfolio, according to an emailed statement from the premier’s office. Santos, who had served in Costa’s government in different roles during the last seven years, took “political responsibility” for the case involving the former TAP director, the infrastructure ministry said in a separate statement.
Alexandra Reis, the former TAP board member, received €500,000 ($531,850) in compensation after she left the carrier in February, an amount that stirred controversy as the country battles a cost-of-living crisis. She became secretary of state for treasury on Dec. 2. but served for less than four weeks before Finance Minister Fernando Medina asked her to resign from the post on Dec. 27.
Prime Minister Costa, who leads a government backed by a Socialist majority in parliament, said in September that Portugal planned to privatize TAP within 12 months.
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