“It was difficult to imagine so much nonsense”

Mario Cruz / Lusa

The Prime Minister, António Costa

The intention of “teaching a lesson” to the company was expressed by António Costa in a campaign action, which generated criticism from the opposition parties who recalled his status as prime minister and the fact that the Matosinhos municipality is led by the PS .

After having been in the “eye of the storm” due to his statements about the closure of the Galp refinery in Matosinhos, especially with regard to the company’s attitude towards its workers, António Costa signed an opinion article this Wednesday in Público in which he tries to clarify his point of view not only in relation to the situation labor, but also with regard to the issues surrounding the climate transition for companies.

In the first scope, the prime minister highlighted the “total social insensitivity” of the company, which chose the 20th of December, 5 days before Christmas, to announce “the closure of the refinery”. Then, Galp, according to António Costa, also revealed “total social irresponsibility” because, contrary to what other companies that are closing their coal-fired power stations are doing, “not prepared at all requalification and new opportunities for work and to pursue an active life, for workers who would lose their jobs“.

Finally, the head of the Executive also expressed dissatisfaction with the absence of “responsibility awareness” that a company of “that size” must have “in relation to the territory where it is located, where it leaves a huge environmental liability of alone contaminated“, not having, according to António Costa, articulated with the City Council or with the State the destinations of the land in question — Jornal de Negócios reports this Wednesday that the company is still did not present a decontamination program of the soils where the refinery is installed.

As such, the prime minister finds it “hard to imagine so much disparate, so much screwed up, so much insensitivity, so much irresponsibility, so lack of solidarity as the one that GALP has proven” in this case, also stating, without “no fear”, that this is a “school example of everything that should not be done by a company that is a responsible company”.

Throughout the opinion article, Costa, who clarifies “nothing” have “against the company” in question, sets out his arguments in defense of the thesis that a climate transition, with a view to reducing CO2 emissions, can and should be compatible with the safeguard of social rights.

“We know that this energy transition also has costs and that’s why the main priority in our presidency it was to organize the Social Summit here in Porto, it was to allow the European Commission to present an Action Plan for the Development of the European Pillar of Social Rights and for the European Council to approve this Action Plan, because we know well that to ensure digital transition and to ensure the energy transition it is essential to guarantee everyone a good education so that we can continue to be active in the new tools of the digital society”, he defended.

The prime minister also highlights the need for a “social support network so that nobody stay behind in these transitions that lie ahead”.

António Costa also highlighted the role that the Fair Transition Fund, created with the aim of supporting territories and people who are affected by the consequences of the closure of activities as a result of the energy transition, may have on the lives of workers laid off and on the dynamics of the municipality.

It has to be activated, to work together with the municipality of Matosinhos to ensure that, in the first place, those who lose their jobs here have new opportunities to continue their lives with dignity, having access to training and support for job creation or getting a job because they are entitled to continue to live with dignity their lives,” he wrote.

On a political spectrum, António Costa expressed his intention to work with the Matosinhos municipality to “ensure that the territory that is available there is not used as Galp gives it to”.and real gana‘”, but to “develop the economy and for the progress of the territory of Matosinhos”.

For the rest, Costa clarified that the “lesson” — a term used by him in a campaign action in which he referred to the process of closing the refinery — which he intended to give or apply to Galp in this context is nothing more than the use, precisely, of the Fair Transition Fund and the “application of legislation to the worker protection e do future of the territory“.

Finally, the Prime Minister concluded his presentation with a “charge” to Luísa Salgueiro, current mayor of Matosinhos: “That they use all the legal mechanisms that the territorial planning laws put in the hands of the municipality to guarantee that on those lands it will only be done what the municipality of Matosinhos authorizes and he will only authorize what is for the good of the progress of this region”.

ARM //