Yet another high-profile protest, this time in OPorto, has kept TV cameras focused on the cause of the indignant – the thousands of small investors who claim they have been robbed of their life savings by the Bank of Portugal in the controversial good bank/ bad bank BES carve-up.
A year on from the collapse of the bank, feelings could not be running higher.
Not only has another ‘agency of the Bank of Portugal’ been pelted with eggs, but protestors embarked on what looked like a bizarre folkloric dance with police, moving backwards and forwards on opposing sides of iron barriers as they apparently attempted to “break in” to the bank.
The show of force was possibly more designed for the cameras than any real intention to cause affray, but with whistles being blown and claxons sounded, the scenario as the Bank of Portugal tries desperately to sell its ‘good bank’ to the highest bidder, could not be more inelegant.
As one of the protestors told RTP news, the situation is “inadmissible”.
“We will continue with our protests”, the woman identified only as Maria affirmed. “The Bank of Portugal put us in this situation. It knew what was happening but it did not protect us. It should never have left us like this”.
Money lost in investment in commercial paper runs to as much as €720 million, say protestors, with many of those affected Portuguese emigrants who have returned to Portugal this month for their annual summer holiday.
RTP’s reporter Angela Lopes explained: “These people are desperate. They want their money back”.
Police showed “comprehension” for the protest, she added, as she interviewed a number of people taking part, all of whom laid the blame for their plight firmly on the Bank of Portugal and its governor Carlos Costa.
We’re coming to the end of August, Lopes explained, and thus furious emigrants will soon be returning to their lives and commitments abroad. But the likelihood of the “association of the indignant” giving up this fight is zero.
What has angered protestors even further is the Bank of Portugal’s “request for more time to mount its defense” to a legal embargo lodged by the “association of the indignant” (click here)
“This is the ultimate disgrace”, Rui Alves told RTP.
“These people are the limit. They have cheated us all, and on top of this, they ask for ten more days to respond. It is a complete disgrace”.