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Defense Minister: Arsenal De Alveti is “technically bankrupt”

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The Minister of National Defense said on Tuesday that he received Arsenal de Alvete as “technically bankrupt” and that it had obtained loans worth about two million euros to pay salaries and fulfill its tax obligations.

“We received the technically bankrupt Arsenal do Alvete, with several ships detained beyond the deadline set for its maintenance, causing serious damage to the fulfillment of missions, and to the effectiveness of the Portuguese Navy, but we will have to respond to it,” said Nuno Melo, who is being heard. In Parliament at a regiment hearing.

According to the minister, “something must be done because at this moment there is an inability to generate sufficient revenues to pay salaries and tax obligations.”

“I just arrived at the Ministry and the first action we had to take was to facilitate, grant and request a loan of one million four hundred thousand euros to pay salaries and tax obligations. A week ago we had to grant another loan from 936 thousand euros and no weapons arsenal would be able to survive in the country,” he warned. These circumstances.

The government official stated that the equipment in Alveti is “outdated and not suitable for the current navy.”

According to Nuno Melo, the ratio between workers and administrative staff is “one administrative staff to one worker”, noting that Alfetti needs qualified professionals.

The minister also warned against not meeting the deadlines for completing the work, citing as an example the Trident submarine, which is 30 years old and will remain “in the shipyard for three years,” considering that this is “a very dangerous situation.” .

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Later in the hearing, Nuno Melo said he had asked to be presented, within 30 days, with a set of “possibilities to resolve the current tragic financial situation of Arsenal do Alvete and proposals on possible measures aimed at another model that guarantees the Portuguese Navy what the Navy needs.”

Deputy PCP Antonio Felipe expressed his concern about the current situation of this company, blaming the lack of investment in recent years, and asked the Minister if he did not think it would be better for Arsenal to return to the Navy, after its privatization in 2015. But Melo did not answer.

In the past, Arsenal do Alfeite has already faced serious financial problems that have led to delayed wages and even Christmas bonuses in 2020 for more than 400 workers who make up this company responsible for the repair and maintenance of Portuguese naval ships.

Last year, Arsenal de Alvete Chairman José Luis Serra warned that the company had facilities and equipment that were many years old, some of which had functional and safety problems, highlighting that, however, in 2022, after six consecutive years Of the losses, the arsenal finished the year with positive net results.

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