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Revolt at Santo da Serra’s Fair Closure

Protesters descended on the Santa Cruz council offices this morning to protest against the closure of the Santo da Serra market, due to the lack of payment of rents.  The event was attended by CDU (Portuguese Communist Party) representative Edgar Silva. 

The municipality, for its part, considers that over the past six years it has negotiated payment plans that have not been fulfilled, and is now refusing to back down on its decision to close the market.  In the end the Public Security Police and the BIR (Rapid Intervention Brigade) were called in to evict the protesters from inside the building.

The local authority has issued a formal statement.

1 – We regret the political use of a party, the CDU, which has almost disappeared in the last elections and which promotes a rogue policy that undermines the normal functioning of a public service and thus harms all residents of Santa Cruz. 

2 – We regret the political use of a perfectly legal and thoughtful decision, which was taken by this municipality, which did not close the Santo da Serra Fair, but terminated the lease with the Diocese of Funchal, of course non-compliance of the fairgrounders, who do not pay rent and who have always expressed resistance during the six years in which payment agreements were attempted.

3 – What exists in Santo da Serra is a clear case of injustice before the citizens who fulfill their duties, who pay their taxes and rents, and who comply with the rules of living in a democratic society, where rights correspond to duties.

4 – That is why we would like the CDU and its elected Member, instead of promoting riot, to defend and praise all citizens who honor and fulfill their commitments.

5 – The decision taken by the Santa Cruz City Council is final, because it was based on rigor, legality and because the situation of the Santo da Serra Fair created a financial imbalance, since the municipality received nothing, had to pay rent and ensure water, electricity and room cleaning services. No other business owner or salesperson has this kind of benefit.



Samantha Gannon

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Madeira Weekly