State defends golden share

11 Feb 2008

The Portuguese government is defending its position as a shareholder in the country’s dominant fixed line and wireless operator, Portugal Telecom (PT). The European Commission has said it will begin legal action to force the government to give up its so-called ‘golden share’ in PT as it contravenes EU rules and deters investment from overseas firms. But Public Works minister Mario Lino says that the stake is being retained in the public interest. ‘PT plays a fundamental role in the development of the telecoms and information technology sectors, which are of strategic importance for the modernisation of the country,’ Thomson Financial reports Lino as saying.