Political row over financial recovery plan

By PAULO SILVESTRE [email protected]

Portimão’s PSD political party has attacked the local Câmara for its “mismanagement” and filed an official complaint about the way the authority is run by its municipal executive.

In presenting its complaint to the PJ Judicial Police, the Attorney General’s Office and the Court of Auditors, the party accuses the executive, run by PS party President Manuel da Luz, of “individual, political, administrative, civil and even criminal incoherent and irresponsible management in the last five years”.

According to regional Portuguese newspaper Barlavento, Mendes Bota, President of the PSD/Algarve, said the Portimão Câmara management was “mischievous and irresponsible and compromising for the future of Portimão”.

“The party is over. The authorities must intervene urgently to avoid the financial collapse of a municipality of the importance of Portimão,” said Mendes Bota.

He also said that the executive of Manuel da Luz cannot now “whitewash over years of mismanagement with a financial recovery plan that will jeopardise the future generations”.

Massive debt

The Câmara, which has a debt of 104 million Euros, has presented a recovery plan which it hopes will resolve the current state of its finances.

Among the measures proposed is the sale of 49 per cent of the capital of the Municipal Water and Waste Company, EMARP, which the PSD/Portimão “totally opposes”.

“Water is an essential and strategic resource and should be under the public management as it provides revenue for the municipality,” said Mendes Bota.

He added that his party will vote against the financial recovery plan and demand the resignation of Manuel da Luz and Vice-President Luís Carito, whom they consider to be “responsible for the dire situation that the municipality is in”.

A spokesman from Portimão Câmara told the Algarve Resident: “The preparation of a financial recovery plan is an act of good management and is intended as a response to the current international crisis, to which Portugal and Portimão are not immune.

“This plan will respond with a financial restructuring solution in the best interests of Portimão residents in the future.”

According to the spokesman, this plan aims to maintain “rigorous management” and to invest in what is a priority, “the wellbeing and quality of life of Portimão residents and an effective social response to families in need”.

Commenting on the criticisms made by PSD/Portimão, the spokesman said: “We are not making any comments about this. We don’t recognise their credibility. The Municipality of Portimão is not interested in a political circus.”