41 years since Jardim took control

41 years since Jardim took control 1The Diario online today records that it is 41 years since Alberto João Cardoso Gonçalves Jardim came to power  as the elected President of the Regional Government of Madeira, a position he finally left four years ago.

Wikipedia understates him as a “controversial personality”, as anyone who has following this blog for just over last third of third of his time in power will be fully aware:

 ” Jardim is usually seen as an outspoken populist, who is infamous for his often outspoken remarks about his political opponents, from left to right, including several journalists”.
“As Madeira’s democratically elected political leader for over 30 years, he has many supporters who view him as a responsible and proactive governor, particularly well regarded in the Archipelago of Madeira proper. Despite his confrontational, explosive and sometimes impolite personality, Jardim has claimed many benefits and privileges for Madeira, helping the region to improve in several fields throughout the years it has been under his leadership”.

However, the European Union assistance to its ultra-peripheral regions, which includes the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira, has played a major role in the region’s development; Madeira’s development has been massively aided by structural and cohesion funds allocated by the European Union to the regional government.

In addition, Jardim’s government of the autonomous region was financially supported, decade across decade, by massive public debt creation and wild over-expenditure. An even more surprising scandal was reported on 16 September 2011, when Portugal’s central bank said Madeira island had under-reported its debt since 2004, putting further pressure on the country to meet deficit targets under an international bailout. An evaluation conducted by the Bank of Portugal of Madeira’s accounts showed it failed to report EUR1.1 billion ($1.53 billion) in debt from 2008 to 2010 alone. The Bank of Portugal called the omission “grave,” adding it doesn’t know of any similar cases in the rest of the country.

The debt was finally totalled at €6 billion, €3 billion less than the total that Alberto said mainland Portugal owed Madeira.


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