sexta-feira, 21 de outubro de 2011

Vandalism or Persecution?

A number of cars belonging to the family of Gil Canha, alderman in the Municipality of Funchal, representing the New Democracy Party, were vandalized last night. The vandals entered the communal garage of the block of flats, severed the wires from the security cameras and poured corrosive liquid over the cars. This is not the first such incident. On the 26th of August, the Amazonia bar, which belongs to the Canha family, was twice set on fire in the middle of the night, using incendiary devices. Gil has been the target of anonymous threats. Following the elections,defamatory posters, which were paraded by supporters of Jardim’s party on the election night, were subsequently placed in the street outside his own home, and that of Baltasar Aguiar, the PND leader.

The Berardo Collection controversy

The Portuguese Government is seeking to reevaluate the Berardo Collection. The collection is on public display through a protocol signed with the Government, where after a certain number of years, the state has an option to acquire the collection. The snag is that 75% of the collection has also been given as guarantee for several bank loans. Berardo reportedly borrowed around a billion Euros to buy bank shares which are now estimated to be worth only 70,000 Euros. The collection had initially been estimated by Sotheby’s to be worth over 300 million Euro. Some time ago, it emerged that Berardo, instead of contributing to the collection financially, as set out in the protocol signed with the state, had instead been providing new acquisitions. He recently acquired the complete ouevre of an unknown Madeiran artist, which was billed, in Madeira, as a great discovery, to be coveted by many museums the world over.

terça-feira, 18 de outubro de 2011

Gaddafi and the Madeira Offshore

Written by João Pedro Martins, 'Suite 605, The secret story of hundreds of companies that fit into a 100m2 room' is a fascinating book, packed with information on the Madeira Offshore.

On pages 51 to 54, it reveals connections between the Lybian regime and the Madeira Offshore. The Libya Investment Authority and the Lybia Africa Investment Portfolio (LAP) are on the UN Security Council's blacklist, but one company controlled by the latter does not feature on the list. Namely LAP (Overseas), unipessoal S.A., run by Bashir Saleh Bashir and Filipe Gago,with its headquarters at on the first floor of nº 20 Rua Brito Câmara. The company was set up in October 2008.

terça-feira, 11 de outubro de 2011

Judge Resigns from Election Commission

Judge Paulo Barreto, the National Commission of Election's delegate in Madeira has resinged from the Commission, citing his weariness with the systematic violation of the election laws.

During the campaign, tens of complaints were lodged against the use of state means to carry out party propaganda and denouncing the impartiality of Jardim's speeches at inaugurations/official ceremonies.

The National Commission of Elections allowed these abuses to go on, all the way through the campaign and has yet to take any public position on these violations of the election law.

Election Results

The PSD loses overall majority in terms of votes:
PSD 48,56%
CDS/PP 17,63%
PS 11,50%
PTP 6,86%
PCP/PEV 3,76%
PND 3,27%
PAN 2,13%
MPT 1,93%
BE 1,70%
but retains overall majority in terms os mandates

PSD 25, CDS 9, PS 6, PTP 3, PCP/PEV 1, PND 1, PAN 1, MPT 1.

terça-feira, 4 de outubro de 2011

Judge: Campaign unfolds with 'usual abnormality'

Judge Paulo Barreto, the national Comission of Elections' representative in Madeira has confounded the mainland commentators with the statement that the election campaign is unfolding with the 'usual abnormality'. Surely he should be saying 'normality'. Since Jardim has blatantly been violating the election law for decades without state entities intervening, the judge's statement hits the nail on the head.

Anyone watching the news, for instance, will watch 15 minutes devoted to Jardim, as Regional President, using state functions to promote his campaign and then will see him again, this time campaigning as party leader for another five minutes.

EU: Madeira's Budget deficit

At the ECOFIN Council on Friday 16 September EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn described the Bank of Portugal's announcement that the autonomous Portuguese region (island) of Madeira had failed to provide details of public spending of more than a billion euros in 2008-2010 as an unwelcome surprise, and said that the information would now be incorporated in the notification to be submitted to the European Commission by the Portuguese government on Friday 21 October under the excess deficit proceedings against Portugal. This hidden spending will increase Portugal's public debt by 0.3% of GDP. The Portuguese government says this is a one-off case and drastic measures will be taken to force Madeira to tighten its belt and ensure such matters never arise again. The Portuguese finance minister, Vítor Gaspar, attended the meeting in Wroclaw but refused to comment.

This is bad news for the new Portuguese government, which is currently implementing a three-year austerity programme as part of an international aid deal worth €78 billion. Under the terms of the loan, Lisbon must cut its public deficit from 9.1% to 5.9% of GDP and then reduce it further to return to below the 3% cut-off point in 2013. Its economy is in recession and is expected to shrink by 2.2% of GDP in 2011 and 1.2% in 2012, according to government forecasts. Rehn commented that implementation of the Portuguese austerity programme, which includes consolidation of public spending and the introduction of structural measures to stimulate growth, was “on track”, and therefore the first instalments of aid had been paid out. He explained that it was crucial that the momentum was kept up

(EuroMP Nuno Teixeira at an inauguration)

PND protests violation of election law

The PND has been present at many official inauguration ceremonies, protesting against the use of state functions for party-political propaganda. Jardim already has a case against him for doing this, but he is protected by his parliamentary immunity and cannot be brought to stand trial.

Alberto João feeds us!

Banquet for the masses at the official inauguration ceremony of the Cota 500 motorway. This scene is repeated in all the seventy official ceremonies in the period preceding the election. People are bussed in to eat and listen to propaganda.