quarta-feira, 25 de julho de 2012

Jardim insinuates firemen were responsible for the fires

The President of Madeira, in recent declarations to the press, has insinuated that firemen were responsible for the fires that have burnt acres of porperty and destroyed an estimated fifteen houses.

Jardim had been calling on people to denounce the criminals who started fires and said that it was a strange coincidence that the fires started soon after he had declared Madeira had too many firemen. He said the fires were set almost as if to prove the opposite and insinuated that firemen had a hand in starting the fires.

The National Firemen's Union is taking Jardim to Court for libel.

One of the smaller fires, in Sta Cruz, apparently started from a controlled burning overseen by the Sta. Cruz Mayor, without the presence of the fire brigade. The facts were hushed up.

The city councillor, for the Together for the People Movement, has called for the Mayor's resignation. The Mayor went on holiday to Porto Santo, while the fires raged.

Funchal City looses IRS case

Portuguese Municipalities are entitled to receive 5% of Portugal's IRS, but all the IRS collected in the Autonomous Regions stays in the regions.

A battle of wills has been fought over the last years over who should pay the municipalities, the Central or Regional Governments. Funchal City took the National Government to Court over the matter and won at the lower Court. An identical case was pursued in the Azores. The Central Court also deliberated in favour of the Autonous Region. Both judgements were made by the same judge, Madeiran judge, Paulo Gouveia - who for many years had the powerful position of being the only judge in the Administrative Court in Madeira.

The Supreme Court has now overturned the ruling, saying that the Central Government cannot pay out what it never received.

Funchal Municipality intends to appeal to the Constitutional Court, rather than sending the bill to Jardim, with whom the Funchal Mayor is now at loggerheads.

quinta-feira, 19 de julho de 2012

PSD Party Adjourned

The PSD Madeira summer party has been adjourned to September in the wake of the recent fires. The party, traditionally held in the Chão da Lagoa, but now held in the PSD Foundation estate, was due to take place on the 22nd of July. The party ususally attracts forty thousand visitors, but this year the organizers were having difficulty selling tickets, despite these being sold for the lowest price ever - one Euro.

The star guest for this year, was the folk singer Quim Barreiros, not as popular as the previous years' attractions which have included Brasilian pop stars and the heartthrob, Tony Carreira. The singers usually perform just after Jardim makes his customary rabid speech.

Madeira beset by Forest Fires

Several serious forest fires have broken out in Madeira over the last days. Two days ago a large forest fire devasted large areas in Calheta, namely in Ponta do Pargo, Lombo dos Marinheiros.

While the firemen from all over the island were still busy putting out the fire in Calheta, a large fire broke out last night in the Palheiro area of Funchal. This fire has now been extinguished, though there is a danger of the fire rekindling. According to the Funchal Municipality only two or three houses burnt down.

Fires also broke out in Ribeira Brava and Sta Cruz. The fire brigades have been stretched to the limits, combatting fires simultaneously on several fronts. Reinforcements from the mainland are expected.

The weather in Madeira has been extremely hot and dry for the last nine months, with hardly any rainfall, exacerbating the fire hazard. There are suspicions that some of the fires may have started deliberatly.

sábado, 14 de julho de 2012

Jardim anticipates congress

According to today's Diario, Jardim wants to anticipate his party congress. The move comes in the wake of the growing support for Albuquerque's leadership challenge. According to the statutes, the congress was due to be held in early 2012, but Jardim was to delay it to the following year.

Albuquerque had reportedly gathered the 300 signatures necessary to call for an extraordinary congress,  should Jardim insist on delaying. Jardim, left with no room for maneuver, is apparently calling for the confess to be held earlier, at the end of this year, in order to quash Albuquerque's support before it can gather more strength.

Rubina Leal, Funchal City Councilor for the PSD was excluded from the latest PSD leadership council, of which she is a member. She had been directly questioned at the previous meetings as to whether her allegiance lay with Albuquerque or Jardim.

Jardim's Dummy candidate, Manuel António Correia, will predictably not be running for leadership.

terça-feira, 10 de julho de 2012

Jardim invents false debt

In his public interventions over the last months, Jardim has insistently repeated that Portugal owes Madeira 9 billion Euros, 3 billion more than the Madeira debt.

He claims that according to the Portuguese Constituion, all Madeira's health and education expenses should have been paid for by the Portuguese State and that the State therefore owed Madeira 9 billion.

When Madeira was granted the statute of Autonomous Region, it got to keep all the tax income generated on the island and received extra from the mainland to compensate for its isolation, but to claim - thirty odd years later - that the State should also have paid all health and education costs is absurd, dishonest and utter tripe.

This is the type of manipulative disinformation that Jardim has used for the last thirty years to evoke phantom external enemies and to mobilise the people to keep him in power. Its disgusting that the national authorities allow him to keep voicing the same dangerous drivel unchallenged.

sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2012

Condemned for Libel

The author of this blog has been condemned to pay 6000 Euros to the manager of the Jornal da Madeira, Rui Nobrega as a result of a civil suit. The case was brought against the Garajau newspaper for a report on the criminal investigation carried out by the Investigative Police on the performance of Rui Nobrega when he was acting as a bankruptcy executor.

The investigation found that contrary to regulations, Nobrega failed to open an account in the name of the creditors, using instead the personal account of himself and his wife - a judge. The bankrupt company, called Masiluz, belonged to one of Jardim's chronies, Manuel da Luz, who regularly accompanied Jardim in his summer banquets (paid by public and private companies), known as the 'summer university'. Nobrega sold part of the goods of the bankrupt company back to a company belonging to Manuel da Luz's son in law, at prices which did not benefit the creditors. Nobrega was acquitted by the judge before the trial phase - he claimed not to know the connection between the two parties. The Investigative Police was reportedly unhappy about the acquittal, but had no power to appeal the decision. The Court found that the Garajau article was slanted against Nobrega, raising questions as to his acquittal.

In its few years of existence, the Garajau satirical newspaper was target of dozens and dozens of court cases, which all added up, asked for close to a million Euros in compensation. Most of the cases were thrown out or dropped. But the Garajau still had to pay thousands of Euros in judicial fees. Many of the cases were brought by members of the Regional Government and were paid for by the taxpayer. The Garajau was acquitted in all the criminal suits that went to Court, except one case which is pending at the European Court of Human Rights. One case was dropped during the trial phase itself when witnesses called for the prosecution divulged information that could have lead to self-incrimination.

Rui Nobrega has been the subject of various investigations and has been very gently dealt with, not to say protected, by the Public Prosecutor's Office. In 2009, the Court Auditors sent their report to the Public Prosecutor's Office in order that they invstigate the 'fake business' of the Jornal cover price. The Jornal has a cover price of 10 cents, but is distributed for free. The distributor 'bought' the Jornal and then was paid handsomely for distributing the Jornal for free. The 10 cent cover price was and is a ruse to recieve the official publicity of the municipalities, which by law can only be made in paid newspapers. The Public Prosecutor's Office, after two years of so-called investigation, shelved the case saying that the 10 cent cover price had no juridical relevance ...omitting any reference to the law that prohibits official municipal publicity in freeby newspapers.

City Councilor's Property Juridically seized

The house of Filipe Sousa, City Councilor for Sta Cruz Municipality, has been the subject seizure by court order. Filipe Sousa leads the Together for the People Movement, who elected three city councilors for Sta Cruz, nearly wresting power away from Jardim's Party.

The Court order comes in the wake of the Councilors having revoked a municipal decision to go ahead with a ruinous project, which would have delapidated the finances of the already half bankrupt city.

The project involved highly connected PSD businessmen, who acquired a property (Quinta Escuna) from the Jardim's Social Democrat Foundation, and intended to build a center to be leased to the Municipality on terms that were very generous indeed for themselves and would be absolutely ruinous for the Municipality.

Sousa sees the move as a form of vengeance and intimidation on the part of the PSD.

National Comission of Elections condems Jornal again

The National Commission of Elections has again found that the Jornal da Madeira was not impartial in its coverage of the National Legislative Elections held in June 2011. Its coverage was favourable to the PSD in terms of space attributed. The PSD was the only party to recieve first page coverage (11 times). In terms of opinion pieces the Commission found that:
The Socialist Party is mentioned in 65 articles, 63 considered unfavourable and 2 neutral; It is the target of six cartoons, all considered unfavourable;
The PSD is mentioned in 14 articles, 8 favourable, 5 unfavourable (Jardim maintins a running battle with his party on the mainland. All references to the Madeira party are highly favourable); 5 unfavourable cartoons (the targets all belonging to the mainland) and one neutral;
The CDS is mentioned in 9 articles, 8 unfavourable and 1 neutral and one cartoon, unfavourable;
The Communist-Green Alliance is mentioned in six articles, 5 unfavourable and one neutral and one unfavourable cartoon;
The LEft Bloc is mentioned in five articles, 4 unfavourable and 1 neutral and 3 cartoons, all unfavourable;
The New Democracy Party is mentioned in 5 articles and one cartoon, all unfavourable;
The Labour Party is referenced in two articles and two cartoons, all unfavourable
The Earth Party is mentioned in two articles, unfavourable;
The remaining parties are mentioned in one article, unfavourable-

This result is hardly surprising since all the people who write political opinion pieces in the Jornal are PSD militants. The attacks against mainland PSD figures are consistent with the local PSD propaganda and aim to strengthen the local PSD presence within the national parliament).

The report has been sent to the local Public Prosecutor's Office to install criminal proceedings, as it has done on at least three occasions in the past. The local Public Prosecutor's Office has in the past systematically thrown out the cases, despite all the obvious and undeniable evidence. These decisions are currently on appeal.

The Jornal da Madeira is publicly funded to the tune of four million Euros per year and is handed out for free to the population. Its print run is hugely increased during the election periods.