Outraged emigrants return to Portugal to battle over lost BES savings

Among thousands of Portuguese emigrants returning home this August for their annual summer holidays are scores who plan to take part in the next big protest scheduled to demonstrate against the country’s continued refusal to honour over €720 million in savings by as many as 7,000 families that have effectively been lost in the good bank/ bad bank BES carve-up.

As planes have already started arriving, Rádio Renascenca reveals that “some employees at Novo Banco” – the good bank that is refusing to honour money lost – are getting worried.

“Demonstrators do not want violence at the demo, but they do not guarantee anything,” explains the station.

Yesterday an RTP television crew was at Lisbon airport interviewing emigrants whose arrival was “dominated by revolt”.

Helena Baptista, one of the many planning to take part in the August 10 protest, explained: “A country which at a determined moment in our lives decided to deny us employment is today denying us our savings.”

Others explained their reluctance to accept the Bank of Portugal’s compromise plan to reimburse the millions over time, calling it a proposal “to sell us a product worth nothing”.

Ana Fernandes explained that the options only matured in 2049/2050, which would see almost everyone who has lost money simply being “used” in a scheme from which they could never profit.

The date for the August 10 protest marks the year’s anniversary of the creation of Novo Banco – the “good bank” that morphed from BES’ ashes leaving so-called “toxic business”, including the savings of 7,000 small investors, behind.

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