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Saturday, 16 April 2011

Crises - What Crises?!

Crises…what crises?!

This was the lead quote in All the national newspapers on Friday morning after the incredible triumph of 3 Portuguese teams reaching the semi finals of the UFA cup. ( no chance of plagiarism here! )

In times of economic remiss and political pressure it reminded me of what the country's most famous economics teacher – the good Dr Salazar – used to eulogize to his puppet government: feed the people the three F’s:  “Football, Fado and Fatima” and that will keep them quite.

Football aside as a staunch Catholic country next weekend marks the start one of the most important in the religious calendars (and we don’t mean that wedding!) with both the Fatima Shrine and the moody blues of Fado playing a major role. And whilst driving the snagmobile north up to Lisbon yesterday and forgetting the current woes it appeared the whole country  was on the other side heading south – it reminded me of the influx of first time fishermen on Amity Island in 1975 looking for that big fish! (Or is a mammal?!)  

With time to reflect on the political crises (sounds far better in Portuguese as its pronounced “Chris “ ) (Those bloody good for nothing Chris’s!) and listening to a rather prophetic 21 year old from Woking  “You choose your leaders and place your trust as their lies wash you down and their promises rust “ one couldn’t help but be astonished at the complete and utter miss management of such a beautiful country.

I know many of our clients are concerned that the Vila Verde development is being under written by the Portuguese bank – BES. If Portugal is in such deep poo how on earth will Tecnicil survive if it joins Freddie Laker in the sky?!

The irony in Portugal is the collapse here has not been effectively caused by the banks - it is the systemic failure of ineffective government which has constantly believed its own self importance. In order for the Euro mechanism to work initially it required as many countries as possible to join the party. Smaller less productive countries like Portugal and Greece were offered rich rewards to sign up. Some of the 100’s of millions of Euros provided to Portugal can be seen in improved infer structures however there are huge holes where money has been “lost“into a vacuum of Politicians’ mohair suits. Even more ironic is that the Portuguese banks avoided the banking collapse witnessed in other countries due to its own policy of not lending any money to anybody!! Even if you were wealthy enough and your duck pond needed a deep clean! It’s the Banks that have been buying the government debt, however it reached the point where the institutions could not afford to carry on. We are all concerned here at the austerity measures the IMF and chums will bring – Portugal never enjoyed a “boom” before a ”bust” like Spain and Ireland. They just think they did!   

And we all we wanted was a simple’s life and enjoy the sun!   

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