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Region’s Ports Haven’t Paid Rent in Years

Junta Pelo Povo (JPP) parliamentarian, Élvio Sousa, today attested that no rent has been paid by the region’s port authorities for the last 31 years!

In a statement this morning, he reminded the President of Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque of his promise of reducing the cost to transport goods between the mainland and Madeira by sea, especially as Madeira is the most expensive port in the world.

In this regard, the JPP representative said that Miguel Albuquerque had said that once elected he would go ahead with his objective and ‘give it a go!’ Now, after 8 years in office, we asked the President of Madeira, did he fear facing the ‘sector lobbyists’ and what was he going to do to lower the region’s exorbitant maritime infrastructure cost? And what does he do?  He talks rough before the elections and then gives in to the monopolies.

This is a situation that, according to Élvio Sousa, is easily proven when “we have a port operator that handles cargo in the ports of Madeira and Porto Santo and who has not paid any rent to the Region for 31 years. In other words, we have an operator who uses public infrastructure paid for with our taxes, and the Government continues to allow them to do this.”

He also criticised the unusual situation, and advocated a full investigation, the removal of the press muzzle that had silenced some newspapers, and repeal an act which has damaged the island’s to the tune of around 115  million euros, figures that were contained in a Regional Government report. The annual rent that should be charged to the port operator is around 3.75 million a year.

In view of the situation, the JPP considers that the conclusion is clear: “We have unpaid rent and a coalition government that  refuses to lower VAT to alleviate the financial strains on the average Madeiran.

Samantha Gannon

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