Silves’ former long-standing mayoress under financial scrutiny

Silves’ former long-standing mayoress Isabel Soares is facing financial scrutiny from the nation’s accounts court (Tribunal de Contas) over debts incurred while she was in power between the years of 2011-2012.

Along with Soares, a number of others who held positions within the municipality at the time are also understood to be being questioned.

According to a report in today (Thursday)’s Correio da Manhã, the questions are “all related to the council’s debt to various banks related to the infamous Viga d’Ouro affair”.

Particularly pressing is the need to discover why the council left debts to accumulate to such a degree – particularly during the years of 2004-2006, says CM.

These debts have left the current CDU-held executive with very little room to manoeuvre, as the current mayoress, Rosa Paula, has often explained.

Questioned by CM over the accounts court’s inquiry, Isabel Soares is quoted as confirming that she has received the request “to clarify doubts” and says the ‘doubts’ are perfectly “normal”.

“The accounts court always does this when it has doubts,” she is understood to have told CM.

As readers may be aware, Isabel Soares left her post as Silves’ PSD mayor towards the end of her third mandate in 2012, and is now running Águas do Algarve.

Her long stint in Silves’ driving seat was notable for a number of controversies, not least the Viga d’Ouro case which at one point saw her and other members of her executive facing prosecution over allegations of abuse of power. The case was archived shortly before Soares moved to Águas do Algarve.

By the time Soares left Silves, the municipality was over €7 million in debt to various banks.

According to CM, almost €2 million have now been paid, with the balance remaining being earmarked for payment in 2017 and up to 2020.

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