Following on from our report last week that explained a third court has ruled itself “incompetent” to decide on expat residents’ long-running battle with Loulé water authority Infralobo, the Resident has learnt that campaigners are cutting their losses. Although the legal team fighting the issue is keen to try yet another strategy to expose the iniquities of charging people on the basis of how many bedrooms they have, the residents involved are having none of it. Many have put their homes up for sale and are leaving the borough in disgust.
Meantime, our last request, issued two print deadlines ago, for an explanation as to why the water authority chose to treat their clients so harshly has still not received an answer.
Here are excerpts from the campaigning residents’ reactions to the non-decision by Faro’s Court of Arbitration:
Sadly, one thing I, and I guess others whom have been caught up in this sorry saga, have learnt is whilst Portugal is part of Europe and presumed to be a developed country, the reality is far from this. The country is riddled with corruption from top to bottom, there is to all intents and purpose no functioning legal system and those with the power to impose their decisions upon the average citizen are clearly well aware of these shortcomings and are happy to use it to their advantage.
There are all sorts of state organisations that are only too happy to abuse their monopoly situation, something they are able to do because there are no regulatory bodies in place that consumers can complain to. In our case, Infralobo and Loulé Câmara are well aware of this and impose whatever unfair charges they feel like doing so on the unfortunate consumers who happen to be within their jurisdiction because they know we cannot do much, if anything about it.
I can only presume, after this length of time, everyone else is coming to the same conclusion, at least we have been successful in getting the ‘bed’ tax significantly reduced but with the unscrupulous people we are dealing with, I wonder how long it will be before it goes up again.
Quite frankly, we have had enough. As soon as we can sell our place, we will be off.
It appears to us that the judicial system in Portugal is totally useless or, even worse, bows to the powers that be.
We fully intend to sell up and return to the UK which is very sad because having moved here in February 2000 we have had 13-and-a-half most enjoyable years prior to Infralobo entering our lives.
Christine and Tony Cooke
Vale de Garrão
I had predicted the usual result and that all this was a folly.
I don’t really know who is in the pocket of whom, but something is not right for sure.
In every EU country we can get recourse to justice, except in Portugal, or rather in Algarve.
Unfortunately the ruling is not surprising at all. It had complex issues right from the beginning. We have spent so much money and many, many hours on the case. It has taken nearly two years and we are no better off.
The country (Portugal) is corrupt all the way from ground level workers to the highest positions.
Best thing is to sell out and invest in better places where there is law in its correct sense.