The former president of the Portuguese Bank Association João Salgueiro said privatising the Portuguese state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos “should be discussed, but the arguments I have heard are disastrous”.
The possibility of privatising the Portuguese state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) should be discussed “without taboos”, but a partial sale “would probably not go well” said the former president of the Portuguese Bank Association João Salgueiro.
In an interview with news agency Lusa, Salgueiro said the possible privatisation “should be discussed, but the arguments I have heard are disastrous”.
“I had to read three times (to believe) that it would be good to have private interests to limit excessive political control. I don’t understand! I’ve never heard of having private interests to control political life. (There’s) a constitution for that”, he said.
Salgueiro also said he believed “this is not a good time to sell”, as the bank “must be worth much less than it used to, maybe a fifth or sixth”.
During the interview the former top banker also said the bankruptcy of scandal-ridden bank BPN was a “notorious” example of bad management that the “authorities did not see in time”.
A possible exit from the euro would be much worse than staying in, he went on to say. “People would lose purchasing power, they wouldn’t be able to travel by car (…) or eat what they wanted to”, he added.
Speaking about the current austerity measures, Salgueiro said that when the prime minister chose his cabinet, he went with “people he knew” and “it is obvious that most (of the ministers) have no government experience” and that “apart from two or three individuals” the ministers’ management experience is “limited to small and medium companies”.
The former banker also said Portugal should have asked for a bailout six months earlier than it did, “it could have negotiated better”.
Portugal “negotiated in a state of need”, when the country was “really bankrupt”, he ended.