Renegotiation of the SCUT highways cost taxpayers an additional €10 billion euros

Portugal is probably the EU country with the most tolls per kilometer on highways and national roads, because the Portuguese have to permanently pay (what is already paid) to the mafiosi who orchestrated the ruinous PPP and SCUT agreements, with obscene never-ending margins and profits, so that they can unjustly earn (steal) billions of euros every year from the already very meager Portuguese wallets.

The problem is that there are so many corrupt and thieving people in Portugal, but still the worst thing is that the Portuguese people share the same mindset of these crooks, and end up conniving and even unconditionally supporting them in all elections, over and over again. It is clear that in any true developed country these criminals would be in jail or would be nobodies, but in Portugal they are instead looked up to by the general population.

And when some Portuguese with integrity tries to clarify and report the situation, it is impossible because he or she is alone. They end up signing their own political death warrant. Portugal really functions like a dictatorship, but with a communist scent. Make no mistake, Portugal is a dictatorship with countless small and big dictators that can destroy your life directly or indirectly.

The following article is a translation. You can find the link to the original website at the end of it.

The Court of Auditors concludes that the renegotiation of rents in the former SCUT concessions will cost an additional 10 billion euros.

The Court of Auditors (TC) will approve an audit that once again destroys the model of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the road sector and warns of the high debt of Estradas de Portugal (EP). The main accusation relates to the renegotiation of the concession contracts of the former SCUT for the introduction of tolls.

The new contracts will increase the state’s bill by 10 billion.

EP’s financial crisis is nothing new. Its €2 billion debt is largely due to the delay in introducing tolls on the SCUTs and a funding model that proved unsustainable. A year ago, the company was on the verge of financial collapse, struggling to raise funds from the market and finance its ongoing operations.

The TC audit has not yet been approved by the plenary of judges, but TVI and Correio da Manhã have already anticipated their main conclusions, based on the rapporteur’s final proposal. The entities concerned – the Institute of Road Infrastructures (INIR) and the EP – will also exercise the right of rebuttal, and the final document may include their positions. Contacted by Expresso, the EP and INIR were not available for comment. The audit states that INIR “did not exercise its powers as a regulatory body”.

Fatal add-ons

Fatal add-ons

The additions to the concession contracts for the introduction of tolls “will increase the State’s bill by 10 billion euros”. The concessionaires “begin to benefit from large rents based on the concept of availability,” writes the rapporteur. The document notes that the introduction of real tolls “does not negate the fact that the taxpayer pays, as he will continue to bear the bulk of the costs”.

The audit states that the cost of the SCUT in the last two years has reached 1.3 billion euros. However, this figure may be revised upwards after the correction made by Eurostat. In 2010, the EP budget indicated the payment of €485 million spread over seven concessions. However, the new accounting revealed a further expenditure of €871 million, bringing the expenditure in 2010 alone to €1.35 billion.

The TC had already been very critical of road PPPs when it refused to approve four new concessions in 2009 because it did not agree with the distribution of risks between the state and private companies. However, with the reformulation of the contracts, the TC would eventually approve the contracts. However, the current audit has a deeper and more detailed scope, as it examines all concessions in operation and does not only focus on preventive inspections.

( … )

More related news

Garcia dos Santos: “The possibility of corruption must be admitted” in the PPP

Garcia dos Santos left the JAE (Junta Autónoma das Estradas) and denounced corruption in this former public company. The former president of the JAE even says that he proposed to João Cravinho the dismissal of eleven people, but the then minister considered it complicated. Garcia dos Santos explains today:

“The problem is that it was through one of the people I wanted to put on the street who gave the money to the PS”

Garcia dos Santos denounced the existence of corruption at JAE – Junta Autónoma das Estradas, a public company that was later dissolved to make way for EP – Estradas de Portugal.

Today, Garcia dos Santos says in an interview with “i” that he warned the then Minister of Equipment, João Cravinho, of the error of going ahead with SCUT (Free Highways for Users).

And he goes further. He admits that there is corruption in the PPP.

The possibility of corruption in PPPs – public-private partnerships – must be acknowledged. How do you assign certain privileges to an entity that would not occur naturally? It is possible that someone has engaged in something corrupt.

Unfortunately, another thing that works poorly in our country is Justice. It never reaches the end.”

Garcia dos Santos also remembers the times when he was called to JAE by João Cravinho, with whom he was a colleague at Instituto Superior Técnico. “He wanted me to clean the house.”

He called him to JAE with 10 commandments to do at JAE. “Meanwhile, I started to get to know the house, I went around the whole country and one day I said to him:

‘there are a series of things that need to be done here and there are 11 guys that we need to put out on the street’.

He squirmed, He called me two days later and said it was very complicated. The problem is that it was through one of the people I wanted to put on the street who passed the money to the PS”.

Regarding the SCUT, Garcia dos Santos guarantees that he told João Cravinho: “this is tremendous nonsense”. And he explains: “SCUT is an English invention, after a short time the English put it completely aside, because of the hole that was predictable. But he told me that the subject had been studied exhaustively from all technical and financial aspects.

The hole, which is the SCUT, is visible.”

A country where criminals and the powerful are systematically protected to the detriment of victims and its citizens is the definition of a dictatorship, which is why Portugal should leave the EU.


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