Infamous Portimão Urbis (finally) bites the dust

Portimão Urbis, the council-run services company mired in debt and political corruption has finally bitten the dust.
Portimão mayor Isilda Gomes announced the firm’s dissolution last Friday (July 18).
Her words came as no surprise – indeed they have been hugely criticised by the opposition coalition Servir Portimão (made up of CDS-PP, MPT and PPM councillors), which claims the writing has been on the wall a long time, and the decision should have been made three months ago.
Servir Portimão went so far as to accuse the PS executive of having shown “a total incapacity” to deal efficiently with the issue.
Nonetheless, the winding up of the company – the former management of which is under investigation for fraud and other corrupt practices – now means that Portimão town council will be able to qualify for government bailout funds. It is desperately in need of them. Council debt is running at €166 million – making Portimão the most-indebted municipality in Portugal – but, by law, it cannot apply for financial aid with a municipal company making the kind of losses that Portimão Urbis has been making.
Debt levels rose to €18 million in 2012 – a €3.3 million increase on the year before.