quinta-feira, 4 de agosto de 2011

Polls show Jardim set for new absolute majority

Despite his failing popularity this is hardly a surprise. The means he has at his disposal to campaign are overwhelming. 

Jardim controls the government-owned newspaper (jornal) which is totally biased and gives minimal coverage of opposition parties and none at all to the PND. The paper is financed to the tune of 4 million Euro a year and its 15000 copies are distributed for free throughout the island. The Jornal only carries (highly virulent) opinion pieces of Jardim's closest circle. 
There is no competition possible with this propaganda machine and the 'best' of it is: all this free publicity does not even eat in to the PSD campaign funds, its a a government funded newspaper! 

The other major scam is the use of official ceremonies as party rallies. 'With millions i hold inaugurations; with inaugurations I win elections', as Jardim succinctly put it. These usually involve the opening of  a new public work or private investment, where food and entertainment is provided and the local population is invited to hear Jardim's hallucinated rants against the opposition 'traitors', 'colonialists', 'foreigners' etc.  
Again, these events to not eat into his campaign budget since they are government or private funded.

Are these advantages legal? No, but state entities have up until recently turned a blind eye.  Had they ever obliged Jardim to compete on equal terms he would not have managed to stay 33 YEARS in POWER.

But the state entities are not alone to blame, for the larger opposition parties, despite moaning about the unfairness, have never seriously taken the matter up with the authorities or made a firm stand. This makes people wonder if they are deliberately playing to loose or are unwilling to take on Godzilla, head first. 
What are the clues?

Inconceivably, the Socialist Party, instead of pressing the authorities to oblige the Jornal to provide them with the opinion space they should be entitled to, is paying large sums for whole page adverts in the Diário (which does not even have such a big readership since it is not given out for free). Meanwhile, the CDS, while they complained to President Cavaco about the unfair use of the inaugurations, were themselves hosts to Jardim at a private inauguration during the last elections. 

Head of Madeira Tax Office Accused in Tax Evasion Scheme

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has brought a case against the Nacional Football Club for an alleged tax evasion scheme accusing the club of paying footballers through offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes. According to today’s Publico the document states that the scheme was mounted with the knowledge and consent of all members of the board, ‘composed by its president and eight vice-presidents’. Among the accused is João Machado, the head of the Madeira tax office, who was at the time one of the club’s vice-presidents. Only one of the vice presidents, Carlos Santos, then also head of the Public Prosecution in Madeira, was not accused. Since the Public Prosecutors cannot accuse their peers, he was subject to a separate process, which was later dropped.  The case dates to the 2002/2005 mandate and notes that both Machado and Santos resigned from the club leadership before the end of their respective mandates.

terça-feira, 2 de agosto de 2011


This is one of the sub-headings of the article on the PSD party rally held on the 30th of July, published in the Jornal da Madeira the following day. It is unclear if this incitement was made by President Jardim or one of his fellow party members. Perhaps the Bishop of Funchal should clarify this, seeing as he is is responsible for the paper's editorial line. It is incredible that the powers that be continue to turn a blind eye to Jardim's excesses and appeals to violence, which apparently also enjoy the blessing of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Madeira.