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LETTER TO THE MEMBERS OF THE TROICA (IMF, CEB, and European Commission) MISSION INSPECTING THE 2011 MEMO, COVERING THE INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 2011-2013 TO THE PORTUGUESE STATE, UNDER HIGH FOREIGN DEBT WHICH HAS LAST YEAR RENDERED INCREASING DIFFICULT FOR THE GOVERNMENT AND BANKS IN SECURING INTERNATIONAL LOANS AND SOVEREIGN DEBT AT MODERATE RATES
Dated 2012 September 4
From HUMBERTO FERREIRA - Portuguese citizen, born and living in Lisbon, having lived four years in Scotland, and having visited over 50 countries, as a journalist, and promoting travel and shipping trades.
IS NOT A COUNTRY FOR PORTUGUESE PEOPLE
Most foreign residents and visitors like Portugal and the Portuguese people they meet and work with.
Most of us are excellent workers, managers, and executives. Thousands Portuguese with brilliant ideas are found in some of the top companies and business, all over the five continents. And many of them have made fortunes and nominated for leading important international projects in most areas, from industry to science, from shipping to air transportation, from trading to education, from art to technology. It has been easier for hundreds of thousands of Portuguese families to achieve success and excellent positions abroad rather than at home.
These Portuguese chose travelling abroad to find success in their lives and careers.
They are the heirs of the Portuguese Navigators and settlers who have - from 1418 (when Gonçalves Zarco discovered Madeira Island) to 1553 (when Jorge Álvares arrived in Macau as the first European to establish a trading depot in China) - discovered the present sea routes to Africa, India and the Far East, America and Australasia.
Besides Bartolomeu Dias who arrived in Cape Town, Vasco da Gama in Calecut, India, Pedro Álvares Cabral in Porto Seguro, Brasil, I make a point of racalling the first round the world sea crossing under the command of Fernão de Magalhães (Magallanes in Spanish, also adopted in English),who discovered the Magallanes Strait 1520, linking the South Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. He was murdered in the Philippines in 1521, and his Spanish first mate Sebastian del Cano completed the RTW voyage in 1522.
Others, like myself, preferred to stay in Portugal and enjoy one of the best year round most diversified and pleasant climate in Europe. Making the utmost of their talent and leading modest lives.
With this troika's choke on our throat, I think I have made a heavy mistake, which due to my age I cannot now liberate my family from such unpleasant and repeating sacrifices in lower and cut wages, retirement cheque viz-a-viz the constant increases in the cost of a simple basic life.
We have now returned to the time of the British landlords, exploring the common village people working their lands, followed by the shipowners and trading lords of silk, cotton and pepper and other spices, and by the lords of the new industries, after the first steam engine applied to the railways was introduced in Soctland in 1830, and a new group of investors became banklords and industrial worldwide tycoons.
Just some other useuful references about my generation. I was born in 1930. At the time of the Great Depression, and after living the hard times of the second World War (1939-45), the Iron Curtain (1947-89), the Portuguese Colonial War (1961-74), the boom of the Europen Economic Community-European Union (1956-2007), the Oil Crisis, and the Sub-prime/US Dollar and Euro/Sovereign Debts Depressions (2007 up to the next years). No solution is anticipated as the Troika prescription is to place all countries, who have counted on the solidarity of the great Uncle Sam in the USA - manager of the IMF -, and the forefathers of the New and Peaceful Europe - managers of the European Make Believe Central Bank for the Euro -, in the first "slavery row" of the 21st century.
The Memorandums of Adjustment of the four debtors: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus, and others to follow (like Spain, Malta, Hungary, Latvia, and even maybe France and Italy) are becoming too heavy so support.
However, Portuguese industry, agricultural, and trading tycoons, hand in hand with the two governments in power (from Abril 2011 to 2014), have availed of this crisis with one top goal in mind: TO LOWER THE WORKERS WAGES.
For that purpose, talent, experience and dedication, no longer counts.
What they all require is to change to cheap labour. Above all, young unemployed labour to build an easier platform of labour relations without unions!
They are ofering 3,96 euros per hour for university nurses at Public Hospitals.
They are advertising vacancies for engineers, architects, and management holders of university degrees for 485 euros per month (12 salaries per year).
AND NOW, I ASK THIS INTERNATIONAL TEAM
from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and the European Commision in Brussels,
HOW MUCH THEY SPEND PER DAY, DURING THEIR CONSTANT INSPECTION VISITS TO THE INDEBTED CAPITALS ... in their mission of rendering financial assistance to countries in crisis?
I presume, not even the bank managers with whom we talk about any problem with our personal local accounts, have ever imagined to spend so much money in executive air travel, limousine service, the best city meals, and the 5-star hotels, plus credit cards for other expenses.
But they keep on advising our ministers and executives to lower the salaries of the Portuguese working force, whatever they do.
With one exception: the members of the government, altough all salaries are frozen, have been rewarded with an increase of 81 euros per month (I hope they only get 12 salaries this year and in the next years), but I hope they find a good cause do spend their 81 euro increase!
That's why I have not placed the question toour ministers. They are also, probably, the worst paid European government members!
That's all! I just feel I have dismasked the true goal of this Memorand of Budgetary Adjustment signed by the Portuguese Government in power in May 2011.