segunda-feira, 27 de fevereiro de 2012

Jardim's Justice, Part 3

‘Political Police’?
If his references to his friends, the Blandys, are laughable, more worrying are his statements about the Investigative Police. Are they merely a form of political opportunism, or does Jardim try to intimidate it and condition its performance?
The accusation that the Investigative Police acts as a ‘colonial occupation force’ were not limited to the Lobo case, they were repeated in 2005, when the Golden Whistle investigation [over football corruption] reached Madeira. ‘I don’t understand how these things always happen at election time’, said Jardim. ‘If the Investigative Police adopts the behavior of a political police in Madeira, it will suffer the consequences’. Going back in time to 1999, Jardim accused the director of the Investigative Police of trying to influence the municipal elections for having stated that the Regional Government had for a long time denied the reality of pedophilia in Madeira. Jardim said he would not admit that the police ‘just because they are under wing of the Republic’ should take on the nature of a ‘political or colonial police’. And he went on ‘the issue will be brought up in the Government meeting, and if we understand that the gentleman heading the Police Department has usurped his functions, he will be denounced through the normal hierarchy, beginning with the Minister of the Republic, who should call attention to the fact that the peripheral services of the state are not meant to enter politics’. The director of the Investigative Police did not rise to the provocation; the fact is that news about pedophilia in Madeira had always been automatically attributed to ‘campaigns against Madeira’.
Jardim used exactly the same terms in 1997, in reaction to the visit of the Werkgroep Morkhoven, which came to Madeira to deliver proof that linked Madeirans to a Belgian pedophile ring. In this very context, the Regional Counsel of Jardim’s party, the PSD Madeira, in a press release, referred to terrible campaigns being mounted against Madeira ‘which nurture separatism, namely against the person of the President of the Regional Government.’

sábado, 25 de fevereiro de 2012

Jardim's Justice - Part 2

Continuation - Article published in the ‘Garajau’ in August 2009
Patron Saint of the ‘innocent’
 Jardim’s behavior follows a pattern. In early 1996, Jardim expressed his solidarity with Luís Gabriel, Mayor of Santa Cruz, indicted for (and later convicted of) corruption. In his speech for the commemoration ceremony of the city anniversary, Jardim recalled the ‘juridical cultural heritage of democratic civilization, that people are considered innocent until they have been tried and nobody has the right to judge them.’ He added immediately, ‘that if it is not proved that there is serious wrongdoing, somebody will have to pay for all that has been triggered off, in this also there can be no impunity’. Jardim repeated the argument of presumption of innocence in the Relvas case (where the director of the public Electricity Company of Madeira was caught red handed using company employees to build his hotel). He again threatened: ‘either there are irregularities and those responsible will assume their responsibilities or there are no irregularities and those who accused and slandered will assume the criminal consequences of their criminal act.’ He personally, was going to make a complaint to the Public Prosecutor’s Office against the Diário [for publishing the story] and was even considering lifting his parliamentary immunity to testify in court.
His most violent reaction arose when a Government Secretary was investigated for pedophilia: a case that stemmed from a minor identifying the said secretary as one of the individuals with whom he had had sexual relations; the minor later withdrew his statement and was evacuated to the UK by the church. ‘I will drown them!’, was the headline of the Jornal front page, quoting the words of Jardim-President. ‘The people who have done this and the owners of that company, even if I have to remain in politics another twenty years, I shall never give them any rest!’ ‘The truth’, wrote the Jornal reporter, ‘is that some elements of the Social Democratic Party believe that the successive campaigns which are being mobilized against Madeira, may be sufficient reason for Jardim to stay on in power beyond the year 2000. In other words, there are those who believe the President of the Regional Government will be obliged to recandidate himself to “clean” the name of Madeira’.
Political Advantage
Its extraordinary how the president of the Regional Government takes political advantage of any scandal to make himself out to be a victim, to garner the sympathy and the indignation of the population. He always transmits the idea that the facts made public are false and draws attention away from the facts and from those involved by evoking a supposed campaign mobilized ‘against Madeira’ and therefore, naturally, against himself.
This strategy is repeated time and time again. In the Lobo case Jardim disseminated the idea that the crimes suspected and the arrest of the Mayor, far from being an isolated police case, were part of a humiliating colonialist campaign against Madeira; in the Relvas case Jardim accused the Diário of being controlled by a communist cell linked to Edgar Silva and of keeping a stash of scandals in order to ‘deliberately enter an election campaign against [his party] the PSD. He even argued that such news pieces should be preceded by a declaration of support for one of the candidatures! The Relvas case was simply an attempt to strike at the presidency of the government: ‘The Blandy family hates me to death and have only not crucified me because they can’t’. (continues)

sexta-feira, 24 de fevereiro de 2012

Private Eye on Madeira

(published in 2009)

With our cake, port and hardy island mentality, Madeira, an outcrop in the Atlantic and an autonomous region of Portugal, conjures up old-fashioned values. Our fondness for our traditional way stretches to our politics and a bygone era when leaders were no-nonsense characters who knew how to get things done.

Dr. Alberto João Jardim is such a man. He has been in power for 30 years (a little behind Colonel Gaddafi but just ahead of Robert Mugabe). As a young man he was an ardent supporter of the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal and wrote propaganda for its army, then fighting dirty wars in Africa. He was against multiparty democracy but these days Madeira is, at least constitutionally, a part of modern Europe and ours is an elected leader.

For this Dr. Jardim praises what he calls our "superior people", our blissfully few difficulties being the product of a "satanic triangle" between what passes for an opposition, the independent press and the English, who have long controlled our economy.

A place as special as Madeira needs a special kind of democracy. Thus our public prosecutors recently decided not to pursue a case against the violation of election laws on the grounds that the violations weren't serious enough. Opposition speaking times in parliament have been cut three times in the last year, provoking one opposition deputy to raise the Nazi flag in protest. The president (who is executive head of government) only goes to parliament once a year to get the budget approved. On this occasion, he answers no questions and speaks for an unlimited time, during which he insults every member of the opposition, one by one. The Spanish paper El Mundo calls Jardim 'El Maestro del Insulto'.

But why bother with parliament when one can speak directly to the people? In one year, Jardim managed to preside over 450 official openings: a roundabout, 100 meters of new road, any number of white elephants. The ruling Social Democratic Party has a policy of supporting an ambitious public works program; and who better to deliver on so many of such contracts than a clutch of building firms and one of the island's biggest suppliers of cement, in which, coincidentally, Jaime Ramos, the party's general secretary, is a prominent shareholder! He is also treasurer of the party's foundation which owns 40 or so buildings on the island, used as party offices and conference centers. The foundation also owns land in the mountains which served as a landfill site. Symbolically, it is now being converted into a space to hold, er, political rallies.

Madeira's publicly owned newspaper, the Jornal, officially undercuts its rival with a cover price of just 10 cents, but in practice is handed out for free thanks to the generosity of the taxpayer (€3 million a year) and the advertising departments of government  ministries and agencies, who contribute €500.000 annually. The paper toes a consistent editorial line, as might be expected when only Jardim's closest party allies are allowed to write opinion pieces.

The president, with no sense of irony, sees himself as something of a "godfather" figure, recently exhorting his party's youth wing to be a mafia "in the good sense". When João Carlos Gouveia, leader of the main opposition party, raised the issue of corruption in parliament, the majority passed a motion to have his mental faculties examined. Opposition MPs promptly walked out in protest - leaving the president's supporters to vote through 17 motions in a mere 15 minutes.

When Cavaco Silva, the Portuguese president, visited last year, Jardim warned that he should not attend parliament because it was filled with lunatics. Accordingly Cavaco received opposition delegations in a hotel room. He concluded his visit observing that Jardim's regime was a "model democracy". 

Jardim's Justice – Part 1

(Article published in the ‘Garajau’ in August 2009)

To Alberto João Jardim, meeting out justice is his own prerogative, an attitude which on the one hand leads him to constantly send ‘messages’ to the judges and the Public Prosecutor’s office and, on the other hand, to pay homage to and to decorate those friends of his who have ‘suffered’ at the hands of justice. Apparently, nothing perturbs him more than news that implicates some friend or collaborator. On such occasions Jardim-President defends his protégés intransigently and calls for justice (his own kind of justice) to be made against those who embark on ‘dirty’ campaigns.
False Moralists
The ‘Lobo’ case is an excellent case study. In the summer of 2004, news of irregularities in the Municipality of Ponta do Sol were made public. In an inauguration ceremony held in that Municipality, António Lobo, the Mayor, called on the population to pay no attention to ‘those who insist in debasing politics and who, even worse, affected to be its moralists’. Jardim reinforced this appeal, playing down the news, explaining that, now and again, ‘some individuals who only think about money and their own personal ego and vanity’, show up. ‘Its not worth wasting time with those who want to be important, who don’t believe in their own values and capacity, it’s a psychological problem’.
No sooner had António Lobo been arrested by the Investigative Police, during the pre-campaign period for the 2004 regional elections, Jardim raised the tone of his recriminations, complaining against ‘attempts at coups-d’état by agents of the Portuguese Republic’. He accused the Investigative Police of being in league with the Communist Party. ‘There is a clear interference in the elections, by institutions that have the duty to be independent’. ‘If there are no illegalities’, he threatened, ‘we will find out if all this was no more than a political coup’. If that is the case ‘the members of the justice corporations that participated in this attempted coup will be punished.’ Days later, in another inauguration, Jardim continued to defend Lobo, reminding the public that no-one is guilty until proven in court. At the same time, he continued to denounce the ‘campaign orchestrated by sinister forces.’ He announced he had asked for an inquest to be made in the Investigative Police and that if this was discovered to be no more than a farce, by a political cabal, the organizers were to pay dearly for it: ‘If its a lie, someone has to pay for the humiliation suffered by the people of Ponta do Sol and its Mayor’. ‘I won’t allow a corporation to act as an occupying colonial force in Madeira’. Lobo was subsequently tried and convicted. (continues)

quarta-feira, 22 de fevereiro de 2012

Jardim- Hitler case - Carlos Pereira

Carlos Pereira is a Socialist MP. Unlike Jardim’s followers, he has no difficulty in identifying the targets of Jardim’s call to violence or in understanding his message.

Defense Lawyer - The paper had a written phase “the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working”. This is an extract of part of a longer speech made by Jardim in an inauguration in Câmara de Lobos, before many people, during which, among other things, Jardim said “these people are back again, through the boys of the younger generation, wanting to turn back, to turn back to the era of fascism, to the time when those who produced sugar cane were exploited, were mistreated at the gates of the Hinton [factory]”. And then Jardim said: “faced with this hypocritical behavior of the opposition, where the communists are in league with the fascists and with the socialists, who accompany this attack against the people and freedom”. And it ended with that appeal to the people that they ‘take care of them’ while he went on working. The news came out following this speech, quoting the phrase, the text, and I ask: at whom was Jardim directing his speech? Can one understand, through Jardim’s words (of course he normally never names people), but with these words of his speech, who was he referring to?
Witness - Well, naturally, Dr. Jardim was referring to all those who normally disagree with his discourse, with his stances, with his options and his politics. In this particular case, following the news of the ‘Garajau’, he was directing himself specifically to those people who have lately been linked to the PND (New Democracy Party), this much seems obvious...
Lawyer - Does the accused form part of this group?
Witness -  Yes, yes.
Lawyer - Dr. Jardim often refers to fascists, and I ask, how does he habitually treat those people who form the PND and the PND itself?
Witness - He often calls them fascists, naturally. That has been habitual speech...
Lawyer - Dr. Jardim’s normal speech, when he refers to the PND is to say fascism, to link them to fascism, is that it?
 Witness - Yes, that’s the speech.
Lawyer - In inaugurations and public functions?
Witness - Yes, in inaugurations and public functions. In the last elections, we saw this publicly various times. It happened several times.
Lawyer - As a normal reader or listener, who keeps up with politics, how do you understand that phrase ‘the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working’?
Witness - Well, once again, it’s the norm. Those of us who live in Madeira know this trait of Dr. Jardim. Dr. Alberto João Jardim creates an environment of persecution. We live in a society in which the persecutory nature of the regime is clear. And so what this means, it is that which he has been nurturing in the last years, which is the sense of persecuting those who criticize him and who, in any way, deconstruct the absurdity of his politics. There is nothing strange and nothing new in this.
Judge – Excuse me Dr., persecution in what sense? Could you be precise.
Witness - Persecution at various levels. Yes, Yes. Persecution…I can. Persecution at various levels. As you know, Your Honor, persecution is not necessarily pursuing people. There are various forms of doing it, be it in someone’s professional career, be it through family members, through the businesses someone may have, if they happen to be business people, or be it through their, well, their own…mistreating people’s honor.. Judge – But can you give a more concrete meaning to the expression ‘the people ‘take care’ of them while I go on working’?
 Witness - Yes, it means persecute them. It means persecute them, to the extent of, well, of physical aggression. That is what I understand of this phrase.
Judge – You understand that there is here an implicit…an implicit incitement to physical violence?
Witness - Yes there is, at the limit, an incitement to physical violence, without a doubt.
Judge – “Take care of them” can be a bit ambiguous, not so?
Witness - Yes, but it can also be physical violence.
Judge – It can be many things.
Witness - Or be it, the ambiguity can be many things but it can be…
Judge – It could be referring to treatment of wounds and to nursing? 
Witness - No, Dr. Alberto João Jardim was certainly not referring to nurses and the treatment of wounds. I think Your Honor understands this.
Judge – Would he necessarily be referring to beating those people who disagree with him?
Witness - At the limit, yes, I think so.  We who live in Madeira don’t have many doubts about that. It has happened, such situations have occurred, and so it doesn’t seem, well, that there is anything surprising in the expression that Jardim used. In this regime there are people who are more papist than the Pope, and Dr. Jardim is aware of that. In other words, he knows he has a core, a group, a movement of people who are disposed, if encouraged, duly encouraged, and if they feel they have impunity, and that many times happens, to carry out [his orders]. And this happens in particular circumstances. It has happened before, so it doesn’t seem very strange to me. Unfortunately, that’s the understanding of those who live in Madeira.
Lawyer – Faced with this speech and this photomontage, how does an average reader, in your case, how did you see this? Was it an upardonable offense to Dr. Jardim? Na attempt to vilify Dr. Jardim on a first page? Or did you see it in another way?
Witness – I saw it as a consequence of Dr. Jardim’s actions, in other words, that which is portrayed in a newspaper that normally, well, satirizes the life, the living experience of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. What it does is to basically translate into an image that which has been the behavior of Dr. Jardim in recent years. And Dr. Jardim’s behavior has much that the figure represents. Authoritarianism, persecution, as I said, well, the castration of the very freedom of expression, which in fact goes on in the Autonomous Region of Madeira through various means. Not necessarily in the ways witnessed in Nazism, but through means whose objective…the means are different, but the objective ends up by being the same and the results are, unfortunately, very similar.

Le Point: Les folies de Madère

The French magazine Le Point has devoted a long article to Madeira, namely, to all the money spent on building public infrastructures, or what it calls 'megalomaniac deliriums'.

Jardim - Hitler case witness testimonial. Luis Dantas

Jardim is appealing against the acquittal of Eduardo Welsh in the Hitler photomontage case. The image was created to denounce an extremely violent speech, made by the President, in which he stated that his opponents wanted to install a fascist regime and incited the people to violence against them. None of Jardim’s friends and collaborators were able to interpret the speech and none understood what was meant by his call to use violence. The testimonies of his friends are very revealing. Below is the transcript of the President’s Chief of Staff, Luis Dantas.

Lawyer - There's this speech: 'those people are back again through the boys of the new generation, wanting to return to the time of fascism, wanting to return to the time when those who produced sugar cane were exploited and mistreated at the gates of the Hinton factory. The opposition is hypocritical; the communists are in bed with the fascists and the socialists.' I would like to ask you, who is the opposition which is made up of communists and fascists and socialists in league with the fascists? Who is this speech referring to? 
Witness - Sorry? Sorry?
Lawyer - This speech is directed at someone, do you know the speech? Who could have made this speech? 
Witness - I don't know the speech, I know some isolated phrases of it, but the speech itself I don't know ...
Lawyer - But who made it, who is the author of this speech?
Witness - I don't know. There are so many people that...
Lawyer - You can't guess who it may be?
Witness - No, I can't guess, I don't know who it is.
Lawyer -  If I told you it was Dr. Alberto João Jardim, would you be surprised?
Witness  - I mean, I know Dr. Alberto João Jardim well, Its natural that he would have said this but I can't say ...
Lawyer -  Would you be surprised if I said this speech was Dr. Jardim's?
Witness - No
Lawyer -  No, of course not
Witness - But also… after all the long years that I'm there, I have an obligation to recognize Mr. President's style.
Lawyer - This speech is in fact Dr. Jardim's, it was made recently, on the 11th November 2008. My question is, who were the people that Dr. Alberto João Jardim was referring to in this speech? I'll put you at ease here, none of the witnesses who are friends of Dr. Jardim, not one, was able to fathom who he was talking about in these phrases.
Witness - I don't know who its aimed at.
Lawyer -  Does Dr. Jardim speak so elliptically that no one understands who he is talking about… Who he is aiming at?
Witness - Don't know, no idea.
Lawyer - Who are the fascists who are in league with the communists and the socialists who are in league with the fascists?
Witness - Its abstract, he's not saying its this one or that one. Its abstract, that's what he's saying. Now I can't say if its A or B or C.
Lawyer - Might you at least have an idea of who it might be?
Witness - No idea.
Lawyer - Look at the front page title of the Jornal "Jardim alerts to the return of fascism!".
Witness - You'll have to ask Mr. President what that means, its no me …
Lawyer - But who is it…you're listening to this, who's going to 'wear this hat'?
Witness - Those who don't abide by the rules of democracy, I think.
Lawyer - Who?
Witness - Those who don't abide by the rules of democracy, it must be aimed at those people who don't abide by the rules of democracy, nothing else.
Lawyer - But who are those people who don't abide by the rules of democracy?
Witness - I don't know.
Lawyer - According to Dr. Jardim's ideas?
Witness - I'm sorry I can't specify who they are. I don't know.
Lawyer - Does this reference to Hinton give any clues? 'The people who were mistreated at the gates of Hinton'. The new generations, the fascists of the new generations?
Witness - I don't know, I've not a clue who they are. You'll have to ask Mr. President who it is, not me .
Lawyer - He said he wasn't talking about anyone in particular.
Witness - There you go, you see.
Lawyer - But do you find it normal that such an abstract speech, that's not aimed at anybody, makes the frontage headlines "Jardim alerts to the return of fascists". Do you find it normal?
Judge - The witness has already directly answered you questions as to who this speech was aimed at. 
Lawyer -You are familiar with Dr Jardim's personality, has he ever called any rival a fascist?
Witness - Sorry? .
Lawyer - Has Dr. Jardim ever, do you recall him ever calling any opponent a fascist?
Witness - I don't know, he sometimes says that.
Lawyer - Or national-socialist?
Witness - Yes, I've heard him say, him call...
Lawyer - National fascist and national-socialist?
Witness - Not that one.
Lawyer - You don't remember?
Witness - Não.
Lawyer - During the government of Eng. Sócrates, you don't remember making some puns with the words national-socialists?
Witness - No, I don't remember, no.
Lawyer – ‘This socialism that is national-socialism’, you don't recall?
Witness - I know what it is but I don't remember Mr. President having...
Lawyer - You don't remember that?
Witness - No, no, no, no
Lawyer - And fascists, do you remember? Who were the fascists? Who were the fascists?
Witness - I don't know. Not a clue… I mean, Mr President has talked about fascism etc etc, which also exists, fascism.
Lawyer – Let’s see, can you identify anyone as being the target of this speech of the President of the Regional Government?
Witness – No, no, no, no

terça-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2012

Court of Appeal acquits former PS leader of slandering Jardim

The Court of Appeal has acquitted the former PS leader João Carlos Gouveia of libel. Gouveia had said that the problem with Madeira was that Jardim was its nº1 enemy. Jardim 'uses illicit means and foments corruption with the only objective of winning elections', he said. He abhors working and spends his time traveling'. 

Gouveia had been acquitted in the lower court. This judgement adds that the considerations made by João Carlos Gouveia are not without a factual basis and that there is reason to limit freedom of expression in a democratic society: 'on the contrary, such exercise is concretely suited to the scrutiny of political agents'. The judges then cite President Truman's saying, 'if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen 

segunda-feira, 13 de fevereiro de 2012

1988 Expopriation case decided

The Supreme Court has judged that the Regional Government has 30 days to pay 1.8 million Euros compensation to the former owners. The land was expropriated in 1988 by the Regional Government to build the União Club sports complex in Camacha.

The União club was headed for many years by Jaime Ramos, the PSD-Madeira general secretary and PSD-M parliamentary leader - President Jardim's right hand man. The lawyer for the Government is Guilherme Silva, currently Vice President of the Portuguese Parliament for the PSD, and long-term intimate friend of President Jardim.

There are many similar cases dragging on in the courts for decades. The lawyer representing the state is in most cases Guilherme Silva. President Jardim has advocated using expropriation cases to make people lose money in Court. Oppostion parties have accused him of carrying out 'political expropriations'.

quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2012

Angela Merkel on Madeira

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in a meeting with German youths, criticized EU spending in Madeira. ‘Those who have visited Madeira,’ she said, ‘can see where the structural funding has been spent. There are many beautiful tunnels and highways, but this did not contribute to competitiveness’.  ‘Therefore, we decided in the last Council that the structural funding still available until 2013 should be used to help small and medium companies and not to build roads, bridges and tunnels’.
President Jardim reacted, accusing Merkel of making ‘ignorant’ statements about Madeira, but he also seemed to agree with her statement, saying that they explain the ‘wrong options’ leading to the current European economic situation.
The PSD MEP, Nuno Teixeira considered Merkel’s declarations as a ‘great imbecility’. ‘They are such a great imbecility that it’s hard to believe that they were uttered by the head of a government of a nation such as Germany’.
Merkel’s statement obviously hit the nail on the head. The Regional Government has always privileged the building of infrastructures over the sustainability of the economy, partly because of vested interests and partly due to electoral priorities: inaugurating new infrastructures is the mainstay of the PSD election campaigns.
Even now the Regional Government’s priorities remain unchanged. They are considering raising port taxes by 15% to raise extra revenue, at the risk of losing some of the cruise liner business.
At the same time, they are determined to waste 15 million Euros on a new, unnecessary docking facility in Funchal harbor. This project is to resort to the ‘reconstruction funding’ (Lei de Meios), even though no infrastructures of Funchal harbor were destroyed or damaged and the cheaper and rational option would have been to simply remove the landfill from Funchal harbor. The harbor blueprint alone cost 1.5 million Euros, which was adjudicated without public tender to a firm with close connections to the Executive.

Armas leaves, freight prices increase

The ferry Naviera Armas has cancelled its operation in Madeira. The Armas alledged the high price of port taxes as one of the factors in its decision

The ferry was fundamental to bringing cargo at a cheaper price, since it bypassed the ports monoply (Grupo Sousa) whose prices for unloading containers are significantly higher than in other ports.

One week after the Armas ceased operations, the three shipping companies that service Madeira all announced a price increase. Transinsular, for example, is charging an additional 142,5 Euros for a twenty foot container.

segunda-feira, 6 de fevereiro de 2012

Former Socialist EuroMP's Jeep set on fire

A doctor's car, parked on the road beside his residence, was set on fire at 3.30 on Sunday morning. Quinidio Correia, a former Socialist Party EuroMP, reacted saying he believed this act of vandalism was politically motivated. The night before, the car belonging to the brother of a PND city councillor had also been set on fire. 'I don't believe it was a mistake. I think it was intentional', Dr Correia said to the DN. 'If the other fire had political connotations, its logical that this one also has.' 'I begin to be afraid to live in a society such as this'.

sexta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2012

National Commission of Elections vs Public Prosecutor’s Office

The Public Prosecutor’s Office shelved a case of violation of the Election Law against the government-owned newspaper,  Jornal da Madeira, relating its coverage of the 2009 national and municipal elections.  The National Commission of Elections (CNE) appealed the decision, to the higher echelons of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office rejected the appeal on the grounds that the National Commission was not the party discriminated against. It then notified the party who could legitimately appeal, in this case, the New Democracy Party (PND).
The Public Prosecutor’s Office had taken an identical decision regarding the 2007 regional elections but neglected to notify the party, thereby denying it the possibility of appealing against the decision.
Curiously, in its most recent decision, the Public Prosecutor’s Office deliberately misquotes the National Commission of Election, stating that it had found all the opinion pieces published to be politically ‘neutral’. What the CNE report actually stated was that they were systematic propaganda in favor of the ruling party.  In fact, only members of the PSD ruling party write political opinion pieces in the paper, and they are everything but of a neutral nature.

Madeira Bail-out Plan

The bail-out plan signed by President Jardim commits to reduce public spending by 32,1% in relation to the 2011 budget and to raise an extra 17,7% in tax revenue. In exchange, the Portuguese Government has agreed to loan Madeira 1.5 billion Euro, to be repaid as of 2016.

The Madeira debt is now calculated at 6,5 billion Euro and the Regional Government needs to find circa 3,5 billion Euro to meet its commitments until 2015.

The proposed annual reduction in spending, totaling 522,2 million Euros, is as follows:
Investment:        400,2 million
Civil Service:      79,2 million -
                        (49,6 million cuts in Holiday and Christmas subsidies)                                     
                        (16,8 million Social contributions;) 
                        (8,0 million Allowances;)
                        (3,9 million reduction in Civil Servants by 2% yearly;)                                                          
                        (0,7 million reduction in directors posts)
Other expenses:  19,4 million
Subsidies:             2,7 million
Benefits:             15,2 million
Consumption:       5,6 million

The estimated increase in tax income of 126,8 million is as follows:
VAT                      76,0 million
Income tax             29,1 million
Tobacco                23,5 million
Electricity                0,9 million
Alcohol                   0,6 million
Fuel                        4,0 million
Other                      4,0 million
Social contributions 11,3 million