Marques Mendes says that the withdrawal of commendations to Berardo sets a precedent for others, such as Socrates – The Economic Journal


Luís Marques Mendes, in his usual comment on SIC, once again echoed the clamor of the week, and agreed with the decision to withdraw the commendations given in the past by the Republic to businessman Joe Berardo after the service in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry .

But he recalled that this decision sets a precedent and therefore, in the case of commendations, a disciplinary proceeding against José Sócrates should also be opened. The former prime minister was honored on April 21, 2005 with the Grand Cross of the Order of the Infante D. Henrique.

Marques Mendes agrees that the Council of Orders has opened a process to remove the commendations to Berardo "because he behaves with arrogance, arrogance and bad education," said the commentator.

"In general I am not very adept at a la carte solutions, but this is a special case," he argued.

The commentator considers that "Berardo, at least, shamed the Banks; at most, made a mockery. He does not deserve forgiveness. Several managers have either been negligent or have practiced harmful management. They are no excuse. It's not worth being to apologize or devalue anyone. What all deserve is investigation and judgment. "

However, "a precedent is created here," he said, recalling the cases of Zeinal Bava or Hélder Bataglia, both involved in the judicial process Operation Marquis.

Marques Mendes said that the Council of National Orders should analyze other cases, such as José Sócrates.

"Because José Sócrates, few people know, was decorated on April 21, 2005. Berardo will lose his decoration and will not be accused, accused or condemned," he recalled.

José Socrates "with all that is already known, had an improper conduct, from the ethical and public point of view, regardless of the judicial question, and being a former prime minister, smears the image of Portugal, therefore, by majority a disciplinary procedure should also be opened to withdraw the award.

Marques Mendes, accompanies Berardo's public indignation and calls him a "police case" involving everyone: Berardo and the managers of the Banks.

"Everyone has serious responsibilities. Berardo, at least, bullied the Banks; at most, made a mockery. He does not deserve forgiveness. Several managers have either been negligent or have practiced harmful management. There is no excuse. Everyone deserves to be investigated and go to trial, "he said.

He then praised the fact that the Attorney General's Office will investigate this case. And already put on the agenda the fact that this is the first major challenge to the courage and speed of the new Prosecutor.

Luís Leite Ramos, the chairman of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos management inquiry commission, asked the commission's services to transcribe "statements" of businessman Joe Berardo at his hearing to be sent to the Public Prosecutor's Office, to the Central Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DCIAP). The PGR says that "issues considered relevant" will be analyzed.

Then he remembered the delinquent cases of justice. The Marquis Process took four years before an indictment; the BES case is already going to be 5 years, and there is not even an accusation; the investigation of the road PPPs, already goes in 8 years.

"If there is no means to investigate then the PGR has to come to the public to say it, bluntly," said Marques Mendes.

Tax burden is at its maximum, says Marques Mendes who cites INE

INE confirmed this week that in 2018 Portugal hit another record. "We had the highest tax burden ever (35.4% of GDP)," the commentator pointed out.

"Mario Centeno is at the same time the champion of the lowest deficit ever (good news) and the champion of the highest tax burden ever (a title not recommended)," he said.

Marques Mendes took a picture of the fiscal effort in the European Union to challenge the argument that Centeno has used, that there is more employment, more discounts, and thus people pay more taxes.

The big question is: in terms of fiscal effort, are the Portuguese making more or less effort than most Europeans?

Marques Mendes explains that for people to realize if they are paying a lot of taxes it is necessary to compare the tax burden of a country with the standard of living of a country. Portugal comes in sixth place with 122%, above the European average that is 100%.

"We have to analyze the relative fiscal effort of each country. The relative fiscal effort is an indicator that measures the tax burden of each country as compared to their standard of living as measured by GDP per capita. Looking at the European picture, what do we have? First, we are 22% above the average European fiscal effort of 28. That means that for their standard of living the Portuguese are making a fiscal effort higher than the European average. Secondly, there are only 5 countries worse off than ours (Croatia, Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland). On the contrary, 22 countries are better than us. Third: Ireland (which should be our example) has a fiscal effort far short of the European average, "said Marques Mendes.

"With our standard of living we should pay less taxes," he said.

"This brutal fiscal effort is bad. Bad for investment that does not go up as it should rise; for the economy that does not grow as it should grow; for people who feel that they are working harder for the state and less for their savings, "said the commentator, who challenges the right-wing opposition to make this subject a campaign issue.

Marques Mendes says that this is a good theme for the PSD and CDS electoral programs.

INE also released data on economic growth in the first quarter of this year. "It perfectly applies here to the story of the" half-full glass "or" half-empty glass ". For many, these results are good. It's the "half-full glass" theory. And they have a reason: these results were better than those of the last quarter of 2018; and we are growing (1.8%) above the Eurozone average (1.2%) and above the European Union average (1.5%).
But the half empty cup theory sees that we are growing less than the EU countries of our championship, namely the eastern countries. In recent years Portugal has been surpassed by five countries in the European ranking, "he warned.

We are increasingly in the tail of Euro Europe. In 19 Eurozone countries, we are in 17th place. Behind us is Latvia and Greece. They are not big companies. Secondly, in recent years we have been overtaken by several countries – Slovenia, Malta, Estonia, Slovakia and Lithuania. Apart from the Czech Republic, which is not the Euro Zone.

"We run the risk of being overtaken by Latvia in a few years' time and become, with Greece, the" broom car "of the Euro Zone. A lower tax burden is an incentive for the economy to grow more and the investment bigger, "he concluded.



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