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Via do Infante - official complaint lodged against Public-Private Road Partnerships

a22A formal complaint against Public-Private Partnerships on many of Portugal's roads has been presented to the Attorney General's Office by Frente Cívica, an association led by the anti-corruption campaigner and former presidential candidate, Paulo Morais.

If accepted, the document will involve the opening of a judicial inquiry into how these PPP contracts were drawn up and signed off, in order to find out who was responsible and to repair any damage to the public interest.

In order to justify its request, Frente Cívica begins by arguing that "public-private road partnerships are currently one of the country's biggest problems," as they have resulted in the delivery of very substantial funds to private companies, which "could have been used for other and more socially relevant purposes."

The contracts, "guarantee millionaire incomes, independently of traffic volumes, therefore they are ruinous."

According to Frente Cívica, over the years, "in addition to interest payments, there also have been payments of thousands of millions of euros in compensation using a simulated financial formula.”

The association argues that "the remuneration formulas in the contracts that relate to variations in accident rates have disproportionately favoured the private sector to the detriment of the State and of citizens."

For Frente Cívica, "many of the contracts entered into are manifestly illegal, since transparency is obviated by references to confidential annexes, which can not be looked at by citizens groups or by public authorities."

This is exactly the case in the Via do Infante concession contract, whose most relevant financial attachments have been classified as ‘confidential’ and therefore are not publicly available even though it is public money that is being spent.

Carlos Silva e Sousa, the mayor of Albufeira, agrees with Morais that "the loss from tolls on the Via do Infante is greater than the economic advantage that the State derives from them."

Carlos Silva e Sousa argues that the State must stop the tolls on Via do Infante, since "the EN125 is only a street, now full of roundabouts and single white lines, making it a very dangerous shopping street...it is not, in fact, an alternative to the motorway.”

The cost of reversing out of the Via do Infante concession contract can never be estimated over the lifetime of the contract - it's a secret - and to reveal the secret clauses breaks the contract and leaves the taxpayer open to compensation claims from the Spanish-Dutch concession holder.

This is how business is done between the State and its private partners.


A copy of the document, in Portuguese, is available HERE

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-1 #5 Link is incorrect 2017-07-28 12:02
The link to visualize the original document lodged by Frente Civica is this:

+3 #4 liveaboard 2017-07-27 07:22
This could be the first real attack on this blatantly corrupt scheme.
I hope the lawsuit is able to defeat the secrecy clauses of these contracts.
However, the Portuguese court system doesn't have a track record of swift work. By the time this case is ruled on, if accepted at all, the defendants could be dead and buried.
+1 #3 Chip 2017-07-26 23:14
But who took the brown envelope?
+3 #2 Fernando 2017-07-26 15:09
Why would the Portuguese politicians let the people in on their self serving and lucrative scams, our politicians are only incompetent and dysfunctional when organising things like a credible fire fighting response, when there is an opportunity to cream of some cash using secret agreements and the like, they are really very efficient. 8)
+1 #1 Charly 2017-07-26 14:03
Everybody remembers that 18 from the 24 existing PPPs in Portugal have been set up under the
SOCRATES Governement. Probably now everybody can understand WHY that specifically happened at THAT time....

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