Council of Europe urges tighter corruption measures
The Diario reports today that the Council of Europe is urging the authorities in Portugal to tighten up the anti-corruption regulations governing the professional activity of judges, prosecutors and deputies, and points out that there are still many loopholes and contentious points. In 2011, under the “economic adjustment program” (bail out) agreed with the ‘troika’, Portugal agreed to carry out a structural reform program that included a reform of the judicial system. The Council of Europe anti-corruption unit report notes that whilst there is now a legal framework for the prevention of corruption of judges, prosecutors and deputies, “the various elements of the system are, however, disconnected” and the legal picture is “fragmented and sometimes inconsistent.”
Alberto João Jardim defamation trial
Observador.pt reports that the former President of the Government of Madeira, Alberto João Jardim, is to be judged on February 17th for the crimes of libel, slander and abuse of freedom of the press against the historian and PS militant António Fernandes Loja. The trial is scheduled in the Local Court of Madeira and concerns expressions used by Alberto João Jardim in two articles under the title “The store of grudges” – published in the Journal of Madeira (AJJ’s mouthpiece) on 23 and 26 November 1994. António Loja claims that AJJ’s writings “undermine his good name, honour and consideration”. The immunity enjoyed by Alberto João Jardim as President has meant that the case has taken 22 years to come to court. I didn’t realise that an AJJ Facebook page is still maintained (link above).
Expats in Portugal “romantically satisfied”
With rather good timing as Valentine’s Day approaches, regular contributor Ellen sent me a link to a story in the Portugal News: Apparently Portugal has been listed among the top ten countries in the world where expats are most satisfied with their romantic relationship, according to research gathered from the InterNations social media network.
Ecuador tops the list, followed by Costa Rica, Malta, Israel, the Philippines, Indonesia, Panama, Thailand, Portugal then Mexico – only two European countries appear in the list. Worldwide, 53% of respondents to the survey were women but in Portugal, considerably more women appeared happy to express their satisfaction as this rose to 62%. Although only just over half of the expats surveyed in Portugal were in a committed relationship, they were some of the happiest, with almost nine out of ten of them overall, satisfied with their love life.
Portugal is also considered the third most welcoming country for expats overall and ranks fifth in both, the Quality of Life and the Ease of Settling In Index.
For those that missed the recent BBC 4 Documentary on the archipelago featured on a previous post it is still available on BBC iPlayer for the next three weeks. Fascinating program – strange to think that we live on just the top 4% of a large underwater mountain! It is also available here