The prime minister’s office sent, this Monday, a statement to clarify the controversial scale of António Costa in Hungary to watch the Europa League final.
The head of government underlines that he was invited by the president of UEFA, thus justifying the stop in Budapest. The prime minister’s destination was Chisinau, Moldova, to attend the Summit of the European Political Community, which took place the following morning. The trip took place on the 31st of May.
The note states that, “having completed his official commitments in Portugal on time and with Budapest on the route to Chisinau, the prime minister had the opportunity to make a stopover in that city, corresponding to the invitation that had been addressed to him by the president of UEFA to watch the Europa League Final match”.
According to the same communiqué, the “prime minister received, from UEFA, the proper protocol treatment, having been seated next to his Hungarian counterpart, with whom he naturally maintains working relations”.
António Costa thus breaks the silence, after, this Saturday, the Opposition demanded explanations from the Prime Minister for including, in his official agenda, the stopover in Hungary, using a state plane: Falcon 50. Paulo Rangel criticized the use of a “public environment for a private visit”. Criticism shared, also, by Mariana Leitão, member of the National Council of IL, and by André Ventura, president of Chega, who considered Costa’s action illegal.
For PCP and BE, the episode is regrettable, but they devalue the controversy. Both Leftist parties argue that the country has more important issues to debate.
Give Jose Mourinho a hug
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, guaranteed that he was informed of António Costa’s stopover in Hungary and does not “see a specific political problem” in this visit, especially since Hungary is a European Union state. “We can agree or disagree with it on migration, on economic and social policy and on many things, but it is part of the group of countries that are our natural allies in the EU”, underlined the head of state.
António Costa, says Marcelo, said he went to give José Mourinho a hug. The Portuguese coach coaches the Roma team, who lost the final to Seville on penalties. “The Prime Minister was going to an international meeting and understood that he should give José Mourinho a hug. “, underlined Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa to journalists.