sexta-feira, 29 de junho de 2012

PSD militants denounce PSD threats and intimidation

Tha Mayor of Funchal has been holding dinners in support of his candidacy for the Madeira PSD leadership, his supporters say they have been victim of threats and intimidation.

Among the measures denounced are the orders for public entities to 'scratch from the map' the owners of the restaurants where the dinners are held.

Some of the people present at the dinners have been summoned to the Presidential Palace and asked to reveal whether signatures have been collected at these dinners to press for a Party Convention in Spring next year. They allege that a number of supporters who are civil servants have been summoned by their superiors and questioned as to whether they know who they work for.

Worse pressures and outright persecutions have been long denounced by members of the opposition and civil society and even one or two high ranking PSD members have also resigned over the years in protest. Jardim's Party have always denied these practices, until now, when their own party members are being subjected to the same tactics long used to intimidate and persecute members of the opposition and dissenting voices from civil society.

One former militant and former shareholder in a company which won many government contracts and has since emigrated in disgust, told me the internal jargon used for these pressures is 'a lei do massacre' (the law of massacre). It consists of using every kind of concievable pressure both economic and from public entities to turn an individual's life into a living hell, until they cave in or have their livelihood and life personal life destroyed.

quarta-feira, 27 de junho de 2012

Election Comission findings on Jardim's election violations

The National Comission of Elections has deliberated that Alberto João Jardim and two Mayors violated the election laws during the 2011 Regional Elections. The decision has been forwarded to the Public Prosecutor's Office to install criminal proceedings.

Jardim and his party colleagues have been found to have violated the duty to maintain strict impartiality while acting in official capacity during public acts. Jardim has been found to use official, publicly funded, inauguration ceremonies to promote his own party and attack rival parties.

The findings naturally call into question the legitimacy of Jardim's election result, the legitimacy of the PSD majority in Parliament and the legitimacy of the Jardim Government itself. But will the Portuguese authorities act?

sexta-feira, 22 de junho de 2012

The Conspiracy Theory Today

Bertie’s conspiracy theory is again echoed in the most simplistic terms in the latest edition of his party newspaper, the Madeira Livre (Liberated Madeira), which has a print run of 25000 copies and is posted through anyone’s letterbox.
The caption reads ‘if the respective parties, or a coalition, won the elections, one of these creatures would be president of the Madeira Government’. A bracket points from the photos to a British flag and a sign of the freemasons, implying all the opposition are controlled by the English and the freemasons

Why Jardim hates the English

In the early 90's, when Jardim's party was beset with corruption scandals, Jardim began a more belligerent phase of his now 3 decade-long rule. With a tame TV and the Jornal under his control, the only news that bothered him was the Diário, half-owned by the Blandy family. Jardim needed a new fight to take the attention off the corruption and persecution scandals. He blamed the Diário and the English and set out on a hate-speech campaign, saying that the English wanted to return to the days of the dictatorship. He claimed there was no democratic opposition, that the Socialist Party had been infiltrated by the communist Party and wanted to install a totalitarian regime which would then be controlled by the English. He then set out to persecute and destroy the English and Anglo-descendent families by constantly vilifying them, destroying their businesses and expropriating their assets.

The campaign against the Diário then also began in earnest. He threatened those who put publicity in the Diário and ostracised all those who had any connection to the English. On many occasions over the last decades, he has threatened to expropriate the Diário itself and to find other means to run the 'foreigners' off the island. The English were the perfect scapegoats for all that went wrong. Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, they were portrayed as evil, shady characters, who were only interested in exploiting the Madeiran people. Like the Jews in Nazi Germany, Jardim used the law and state power to expropriate their assets, offering a symbolic compensation for them. The 'church' newspaper, the jardim-controlled Jornal, was one of the main vehicles for propagating this message. And 'cartoons' such as the one above showing the british flag and attacking the English have appeared on an almost weekly basis over the years

segunda-feira, 18 de junho de 2012

Mayor of Funchal denounces climate of Fear

In an interview to the Expresso, Miguel Albuquerque, denounces the climate of fear lived in Madeira - a situation long denounced by opposition parties, who have often been targets of political persecution.

Albuquerque's denounciations, however, refer to the climate within Jardim's (and Albuquerque's) Party, the PSD. He refers to threats of 'cleansing the party' and of summoning, one by one, all militants who join his candidature for Party leadership.

Albuquerque also denounced the non-functioning of the Regional Parliament, namely, because the Government does not answer before Parliament. The Government simply does not go to the Parliament.

The 22 Regional MPs for the opposition have signed an appeal to the Constitutional Court, asking it to evaluate the 'ilegality and inconstitutionality' of the current functioning of the Regional Parliament.

sábado, 16 de junho de 2012

'What about the pact for democracy?' Reading between the lines

of a typical propaganda article published in the Jornal by Emanuel Janes 

During the last 38 years of (subverted) democracy  in Madeira, there have been various frustrated attempts of unifying the opposition to better combat the Jardinista governance, objective they could never achieve in isolation, as has been proved by successive elections which, ignoring these prophets of doom, have always handed Jardim absolute majorities.

The objective of this opposition, which unfortunately Madeira has (how unfortunate!), has always been to bad-mouth in an attempt to dethrone the PSD and its president, a man who gave his all for his land (like Kim Il Sung, Hitler?), who sacrificed his life, his family (tears well up in my eyesand his political career (no less), to defend Madeira from the attacks of the colonialists (!!!!), both the local and continental ones. Without him (the heaven-sent one), Madeira would continue to be a colonial district of  medieval land with 'half a dozen camels playing cards at the tables of the Golden Gate' (presumably a quote from the great leader).

We all know that the  political regime in Portugal and the autonomous regions is a democracy, with free and democratic elections (where parliamentary immunity protects PSD members from being prosecuted for totally subverting the elections)…  But the opposition parties, because they do not accept their electoral defeats, calls them into question…All this goes to show how embarrassing and devoid of ideas this opposition is. It makes one laugh (all the way to the bank, I'm sure), when really it should make us feel like crying!

Now, with their fertile imagination, they have drummed up a 'pact for democracy' which has the Regional Government and all its supports laughing their pants off. This pact gathers ALL the opposition parties in a singularly abnormal situation, where you find socialists, catholics, fascists, communists, anarchists, people with chips on their shoulders and morons, in a desperate attempt to defeat Dr. Ablerto João (let me lick his boots some more please) and the PSD. .. 

This childish and offensive drivel goes on like this till the end of the page.

sexta-feira, 15 de junho de 2012

Court Auditor's Report on Connective Intelligence Scam

The Connective Intelligence Project was an Information Society Pilot Project on which the government spent millions and has literally nothing to show for somebody got very lucky and got away it. This is what the report says:

1. The public expenditure on the 'connective intelligence' project was worth 3.995 million Euros. The contracts, protocols and solutions adopted were heavy on the public purse and ineficient in terms of creating a pilot project for the region in the domain of the 'Information Society'.

2. The Audit draws attention to the following aspects to the protocol signed between the Autonomous Region of Madeira and the International Centre for Connective Intelligence sole proprietorship company:

a) The Regional Education Secretariat did not fulfil its duty ...'acompany and evaluate the execution of activities, guaranteeing the fulfilment of the CITD'

b) When the protocol was denounced in 2001, there existed no proof of any results of the centers activities, and none of the goals of the project were attained.

a) The Secretariat accepted the bills presented by the Center without any of the informnation required by law. These expenses were processed and paid without any control of the respective services rendered.

b) Between the 1st of April (April Fool's Day) 2000 and 14 February (Valentine's day) 2003, a total of 1,397 million were paid to the center 'despite none of the milestones established by Anexes A and B of the protocol having been reached'.

c) The estimated 1.948 Million debt to the Center, which included and amount of 368,000 still to be billed, which the Secretariat confirmed to the BCP bank, is not substantiated.

d) The comfort letter emitted by the Secretariat in favour of the Center, without the provisions required by law, resulted in the BCP paying the company 1.948 million , i.e. the debt confirmed by the Secretariat.

e) Due to the payments made through the BCP arrangement (1.3 million) the Region has no further financial obligations to the company.

f) The eventual payment of the remaining amount 648 thousand Euro, suspended following an audit, may by law imply that the amount be repaid to the region, for damages and loss to the public purse.

No one resigned, no one was fired, no one has yet been called to account...

Funchal City decides to stop inaugurations during election campaign

The Funchal City Council unanimously approved a motion proposed by the New Democracy Party not to hold inauguration ceremonies during the election campaing period. The PSD's use of such official ceremonies for party-political propaganda during election times has long been denounced by opposition parties. This decision will significantly contribute to the fairness of the election process, which has been totally subverted by Jardim for the last three decades.

Jardim usually uses these occasions to make rabid speeches against the opposition parties and is shielded from criminal prosecution by the fact that his part's absloute majority in Parliament ensures his immunity is never lifted.

Albuquerque, the PSD Mayor of Funchal has reached the limit of mandates at the Funchal Municipality and cannot run for another term in office. Jardim has recently accused him of being a traitor and of having stabbed him in the back, due to the fact that Albuquerque is challenging him for party leadership.

Court Auditors: Madeira debt 5.9 billion in 2010

The Court Auditor's Report for the year 2010 calculates that the Madeira debt reached 5.887 billion Euro in 2010.

The Publico writes that by mid 2010 the debt had already reached 6.328 billion and estimates the regional debt to now have exceeded 8 billion Euro.

At the end of 2010 the region's direct debt was 963,3 million. The administrative debt reached1.9 billion, a steep rise in comparison to the previos year, owing to the discovery of information omitted the previous years. The public companies debt reached 3 billion and the financial debt of the companiesreached 1.738 billion. Unpaid bills (encargos assumidos e não pagos) was estimated at 1.455 billion Euros.

The auditor's report also reviewed the 2008 and 2009 to include all the hidden debt that had gone unreported in the previous years.

The Court Auditors concluded that the omission of debts resulted from the Regional Directorate of Budget and Accounts not having done their duty in checking the budget and supervising the accounts.

segunda-feira, 11 de junho de 2012

How the Justice System is worked

The justice system in Portugal is not known for its efficiency, particularly in regards to combatting corruption. In Madeira, the justice system is highly compromised. A web of regime-chronyism has been built over more than three decades.

1. Bertie does not need to control the hierarchies, he only needs sympathisers and informants in crucial positions in the main entities: Investigative Police (PJ), Public Prosecutor's Office and the Courts (i.e. judges)

2. The Investigative Police have investigated corruption and abuse of power and their investigations have secured important convictions. They are very careful with information within the hierarchy, as they are aware of their weak spots.

3. Their investigations are sent on to the Public Prosecutor's Office, which is one of the weakest and most compromised links in the justice system. Many a thorough investigation has been thrown out by the PP's Office, even where the information is more than sufficent to convict. The PP's Office has long been rife with Prosecutors who have strong ties to the Regime, and the national hierarchy has rarely acted on the information it has at its disposal to remedy this situation. It was no coincidence that for the 'Cuba Livre' operation DIAP (anti-corruption unit) totally bypassed the Madeira Office.

4. One of the main problems with the Public Prosecutor's Office is that it is unaccountable and has unlimited powers - to shelve inquiries, that is. Only those who are direct victims to a scheme can appeal the PP's decision and they are not always notified. State Entities, be it Investigative Police, National Comission of Elections, Court Auditors etc, who send cases to the PP's Office for prosecution have no right to appeal the latter's decision to throw out the case. Ditto for any citizen who denounces corruption, providing all the necessary facts. The Public Prosecutor's Office is all-powerful and there is no control in the hierarchy to prevent situations of conflict of interest and corruption/negligence (it is hard to tell them apart since one of the most effective ways of letting someone off the hook is simply to allow the crime to prescribe).

5. Finally, there is the Trial phase. Since this stage is more public, it is harder for the powers that be to manipulate it. Nevertheless a lot of pressure is exerted on judges and there are judges who have judged corruption cases and who's other half is known to be highly involved with regime corruption. Often, the case has already been diluted by the Public Prosecutor's Office by the time it reaches Court, ensuring that any damage is minimal.  The judge can also throw the case out before going to trial, in which case it is up to the Public Prosecutor to appeal  the decision or not.

quarta-feira, 6 de junho de 2012

World Association of Newspapers writes to President Cavaco

The World Association of Newspapers (WAN) sent a second letter to President Cavaco Silva about the Jornal da Madeira. The letter states that the Jornal has ignored the decisions and recommendations of the Press Regulation Entity and the Competition Authority  and that the distortion in the Madeira press market has worsened over the years.
The WAN is concerned about the funding conceded to the Jornal in the 2012 budget, which disrespect the recommendations of the above-mentioned entities. This ‘seems to confirm that the Jornal da Madeira is a publicly-funded tool used to support the President of the Regional Government who is in power for 34 years’.
According to the WAN the funding exceeds what any private investor could be expected to inject into a press company and result in a massive distortion of what should be a free and transparent press.
The Wan urges the Portuguese President to, in conjunction with the Prime Minister, ‘take the necessary measures to terminate the use of public funding which violates the principles of freedom of expression.’

terça-feira, 5 de junho de 2012

Opposition Parties Sign Democracy Pact - Dictator Laughs

All eight opposition parties signed a pact for democracy at a ceremony held outside the Madeira Parliament this Monday. The opposition parties denounce the lack of democracy in a Parliament which lacks power to call the Government to account and which ends up as a puppet used to legitimize a de facto dictatorship.

Bertie, at an EU-funded official inauguration ceremony in the countryside, reacted saying 'this hotch-potch  means that none of them have any shame, coherence, principles or values'. 'These are the fascists and communists all in the same bag'. 'They have been together for the last 30 or so years (the time Bertie has been in power) and from time to time they do a clown act like this'. 'Although its not a laughing matter, because Madeira has many problems, the truth is that I have to laugh when I see fascists and communists and the whole mixture together, all of them totally shameless'.

Bertie is plainly totally off his rocker!