Councilman Manuel Salgado will leave the City Council of Lisbon after 12 years, and saw his mandate marked by several controversies. Responsible for Planning, Town Planning, Heritage and Municipal Works, Salgado, 75, came to the municipality in 2007, under the authority of António Costa.
"The decision is not now, it was taken at the end of the last term, in agreement with Fernando Medina," says the councilman himself, who added that his departure is not due to health problems.
“The law obliges the mayors to a maximum of three terms, does not oblige the councilors, but I believe that it is necessary that the people do not become eternal in the places and give way to newer ones, with new ways of solving the problems, until because the challenges are different from those they were a few years ago, ”said Manuel Salgado, quoted by Expresso.
It is already known that Salgado will be replaced by Ricardo Veludo, who currently coordinates the CML 'Affordable Income' Program team.
When he took over the portfolio in 2007, his name started to generate controversy as he has to detach himself from the "Risk" studio he was a partner of and now is in the hands of his son, Tomás. However, the controversies of Manuel Salgado did not stop there.
The strongman controversies over the 12 years in power:
Picoas Tower and Fernando Nunes da Silva's charges
Ricardo Salgado's cousin's name was present in several controversies over more than a decade in which he remained in office.
Regarding the Picoas tower, the CML councilor responsible for Planning, Town Planning, Heritage and Municipal Works was accused in September 2018 of having rejected successive projects submitted by the former owner, Armando Martins, to later benefit the cousin.
At the time, Manuel Salgado stated that the owner of Atrium Saldanha wanted to build an area larger than that laid out in the Municipal Master Plan (PDM). It was reported that Armando Martins intended to build a 17-story tower, when the Municipal Master Plans only allowed a maximum of 14 floors.
With a piece of land, Armando Martins was forced to mortgage the space for 15 million euros and later sold it to Banco Espírito Santo for one euro. After the sale, a new Municipal Master Plan was approved that already allowed the construction of 17 floors, but Armando Martins no longer had the land.
Later, after an interview with the newspaper Sol, Fernando Nunes da Silva accused Manuel Salgado of favoring his cousin. The councilman found himself in an arm wrestling with Nunes da Silva when he accused Salgado of omitting information to the former owner of the Picoas Tower. The former Citizens Councilor maintained that Salgado led the landowner to have a debt of over 15 million euros, then sell the property and be acquired by Banco Espírito Santo, for an impractical value.
"It's all false and invented," said Manuel Salgado, recalling that "all the urbanistic mechanisms that led to the increase in volume deserved the favorable vote of then Councilman Nunes da Silva." The town councilor at the time stated that the transaction was alien to CML.
Firefighters and Hospital da Luz
Another case played by Manuel Salgado was the Hospital da Luz, which once again involved Banco Espírito Santo.
The newspaper Sol reported that the expansion of Hospital da Luz would have been another deal given to cousin Ricardo Salgado. The fire station had been modernized, with an investment of 12 million euros, but the land on which it was located was sold to Espírito Santo Saúde on public lines. In 2014, Ricardo Salgado's group paid one euro to more than the bidding base value, in the order of 15.580 million euros.
This case was even investigated by the Judiciary Police, having as its main figure the councilman. Hospital da Luz's architectural project was designed by Salgado's 'Risco' atelier, but dates back to the time when Manuel Salgado was not yet with the Urbanismo portfolio at CML.
Lisbon Tourism Association
ATL was created more than two decades ago to promote tourism in the Portuguese capital, but has also taken over the management of the real estate of the municipality of Lisbon.
This case was challenged by the opposition, which complains about the lack of transparency that this management represented. At the time, the Social Democrats said that ATL was managing real estate worth 100 million euros.
The PSD requested an investigation from the Attorney General's Office because although ATL was a private association, it had a public interest and should follow the rules of public procurement.
Tower in the block of Portugália
In the project, the tower that would be built in the Portugália block, at Avenida Almirante Reis, in Lisbon, was to be 60 meters high, which meanwhile decreased to 49 meters.
The councilman who approved the project and responsible for the CML Urbanism considered “that this is a good project, which generates quality public spaces, which integrates correctly in the place”, which does not show to be of public consensus, with many residents contest the decision because “the city is not touristy”.
Manuel Salgado said that it “substantially improved from 2010”, the year the project was approved for the site. Still, Salgado indicated that he wants to give his approval to the project but that the final decision will rest with the plenary of the Lisbon City Council.