Foreigners and Portuguese banks

Dear Editor,

I am a Belgian engineer and I have moved to Portugal in 2013.

I understand a bit of Portuguese but do not speak the language yet, so I read mostly English-language newspapers like the Resident.

I was wondering if your publication ever gave attention to the fact that foreigners, even with a profitable business plan, never get a loan from a Portuguese bank. Even the promises of EIF (EU investment fund) to help SMEs and start-ups (they have a deal with BES, now NB) seem to be not true. Contacting EIF directly seems to have no effect at all. Since the top management of BES is in jail or under investigation, the deal between BES and EIF seems to be possibly shady.

From my experience, even if we present a business case, ask for a loan of 75K and put our house (IMI value which is below market value is 260K) for mortgage, BES just laughed in our face.

I am beginning to understand why the economy in Portugal is in such bad shape.