quinta-feira, 19 de janeiro de 2012

Who is Guilherme Silva?

Apart from being Vice President of the Portuguese Parliament, Guilherme Silva is also the lawyer who represents the Regional Government in most cases of political expropriations. i.e. expropriations which are carried out as a deliberate form of economic persecution.

Such political expropriations are common in Madeira and are assumed openly by Jardim, who states that those who get in his way should be expropriated in such a way that they are made to lose time and money through the courts. The procedure is simple: the Government decides to expropriate land for some public use and offers to pay a sixth or a seventh of the market value. The owners then have to resort to Portugal's notoriously slow justice system...

Enter Guilherme Silva. As the lawyer representing the Government in such cases, he is known to drag cases out over several decades with delay tactics - constant appeals and requests for clarification etc.
In short, he is not a pleasant piece of work and he does very nicely indeed out of this little business. While Jardim's victims are dispossessed and have to wait decades to see justice, a Court Auditor's report revealed Silva earned a half a million Euro yearly retainer from the Regional Government alone - he also represents the municipalities, football clubs and public companies.

Indeed Silva represents the public bus company, Horários do Funchal, which the Government has announced it is to privatize, in the case of the land the company expropriated in the 1980s to build its headquarters and never paid for.

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