Politicians facing murder and corruption raps still qualify for “golden lifetime pensions”
The scandal of Portugal’s ‘golden lifetime pensions’ come-what-may for political figures has been highlighted today as the “Golden Visa trial” limps its way through the judicial system.
Miguel Macedo, former minister of internal affairs, is what national tabloid Correio da Manhã terms “the most high profile” Golden Visa defendant.
He is accused of three crimes of prevarication (misuse) of his political position and the trafficking of influences.
It is a case that saw him resign from government in 2014, yet only last December he was “attributed” a monthly lifetime pension of €2,609.
As CM explains, this is “five times the national minimum wage” – and Macedo is not alone. These golden pensions in a country ‘painted grey’ in terms of salaries and conditions smile on every kind of character.
There is Duarte Lima – appealing a jail sentence for fraud, wanted in Brazil for the murder of an elderly heiress and apparently a registered bankrupt. Lima nonetheless receives a monthly lifetime payout of €2,200, writes CM – and he has been raking it in for the last 22 years. His gilded pension was attributed when he was just 39, says the paper.
Former Socialist prime minister José Sócrates – the man accused of orchestrating a financial money-laundering extravaganza that allegedly netted him millions – is also in on the political high speed Alpha gravytrain: apparently receiving €2372 per month to compensate for his otherwise frozen bank accounts.
That these salaries can get through shows there are rules for some that do not filter through for others.
For instance, former PJ detective Gonçalo Amaral – another ‘high-profile name’ facing litigation – has his far from golden police pension ‘frozen’ despite having won the last two rounds of his battle for freedom of expression with the parents of Madeleine McCann.
CM adds however that Macedo has not been drawing his pension, though he is due to start this month.
Golden pensions are habitually reduced when the beneficiaries are in receipt of other salaries from either public or private sectors.