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Portugal PM denies undeclared income

Published on 26/09/2014

Portugal's Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho denied Friday earning undeclared income in the 1990s when he was a member of parliament, rejecting an anonymous complaint already dismissed by the courts.

He did, however, acknowledge that he had certain expenses paid for work he did representing a non-governmental organisation, the Portuguese Centre for Cooperation, which was financed by the Tecnoforma company for which he worked after becoming a lawmaker.

“The accusations against me are baseless,” Passos Coelho said during a parliamentary debate.

“I never received any money from Tecnoforma at the time I was a MP. I never received any remuneration from the Portuguese Centre for Cooperation.”

The centre he said only paid for “dinners and trips to Cape Verde and Brussels” related to its activities.

The opposition asked the prime minister how much those expenses amounted to, and called on him to make his bank records public. But Passos Coelho refused, saying he would not make a “striptease” of his personal finances.

Portuguese state prosecutors on Thursday announced they had dismissed a legal inquiry begun in June based on an anonymous tip-off that Passos Coelho received 5,000 euros ($6,400) a month between 1997 and 1999 on top of his MP’s salary.

The prosecutors said the alleged facts happened too long ago, outside the statute of limitations.

In his initial reaction to the allegation, made to the press a week ago, Passos Coelho had said he had no recollection of his revenues earned “19, 17 or 16 years ago”.