28 de novembro de 2007

A rich country indeed!

For the second time this week I am forced to admit that Portugal is a rich country!
First I find out that our Presidency takes in more money than the most glamorous European monarchies and now we all realise that the deal over Cahora Bassa fell short of our best expectations (provided we still had any expectations, of course!).
Therefore, no other evidences are going to prove me that this is not a bountiful country submerged in wealth.
Colonial empires left a toll all over the world and the present is still trying to make amends for a past that is not likely to be forgotten, let alone forgiven, within the very next generations. Cahora Bassa, no matter what might be said today, still represents a reminescence of the colonial power that ruled over Mozambique for centuries (even if Mozambique sought the economic advantages of another, and even greater, colonial power when it joined the Commonwealth of Nations in the 1990s, but that is, to my mind, one of those tremendous historical ironies).
However, Cahora Bassa also represents massive investments of a country in a foreign land, no matter if it was a colony or later a fully-fledged independent state. Portugal invested in human resources, in technology and, last but never the least, in capital. Besides this, it was also the major shareholder of the Hidroeléctrica de Cahora Bassa.
In the meantime, Mozambique has claimed a right in the shares of the company, a right which I entirely understand not only on grounds of a recent history, but also on account of the defrauded economy of the country. What I don't understand is how the Portuguese government lost 80 million Euros in this business just like that.
To my knowledge there are reputed economists in the government, then there are advisors and special study committees, so why did no one see it coming that the dollar lost face value to the Euro? Yes, this process has been announced over the last years and took no one by surprise. Then, part of the money the Portuguese state should receive went to a pardon of the huge international debt Mozambique has (this in itself is another tricky subject: pardon or no pardon to African debts). In a nutshell, it seems to me that we will get something not far from peanuts with the selling of our shares. Right, we still hold 15% of shares, a symbolic connection between Portugal and Cahora Bassa. But, in the end, we lost the dam, we lost the business and probably we lost some face too.
We are a rich nation, 80 million more, 80 million less is certainly not going to make an impact in our finances and in our Treasury.

16 comentários:

António de Almeida disse...

-Portugal tem uma má consciência em tudo o que envolve as ex-colónias, como se tivéssemos de permanentemente pedir desculpa pela História. É ridiculo, mas é verdade, ainda gostaria de perceber, qual foi verdadeiramente o investimento português em África, que tenha trazido algum retorno a Portugal. Os moçambicanos ameaçarem entrar na commonwealth? por mim podem entrar já, relações cordiais, fraternas, estado a estado, sou a favor, pedidos de indemnização por má consciência, desbaratar dinheiro em África, enchendo os bolsos duns quantos sobas, que vivem duma forma obscena, enquanto a generalidade da população local vive abaixo do limiar de pobreza, e muitos para escapar á miséria, ainda têm de vir para Portugal? Para esse peditório não gosto de contribuir!

Tiago R Cardoso disse...

Esta mais que visto que Portugal só faz grande negócios, tem razão mais oitenta, menos oitenta, de que aja dinheiro para uns carritos topo de gama, umas almoçaradas e umas ajudas de custo para quem manda, o resto que se lixe.

quintarantino disse...

My dearest Blonde, it seems that we are talking about peanuts!

antonio disse...

Blonde a parte de perdermos dinheiro é a que é mais fácil de explicar... complicado é perceber como temos 30% de um poço de petróleo no Brasil.

Eu proponho que Portugal só invista nos países que não tenham sido nossas colónias, aí podemos, sem má consciência, sermos legitimamante donos dos seus recursos naturais...

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio de Almeida,
Mozambique is since 1995 a member of the Commonwealth. So ironic, isn't it? They didn't want one empire and joined another!
As for your words, well, they're my words too but then we have to admit that it is us that are politically incorrect. Ironic also, aren't I right?

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Tiago,
The problem is that for them 80 million is zilch but for us it means: less investment, more expenditure, misallocation of money... all very good things!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Quinn,
I know exactly what I would do with those peanuts...!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio,
Yes it's always the same problem: the trauma we have because of the colonies. So right you are. Why should we always feel bad about the issue of ex-colonies?

quintarantino disse...

Blonde, buy me a Ferrari

Blondewithaphd disse...

Keep dreamin' Quinn!

Carol disse...

80 millions? Peanuts, just peanuts!
As if we were the only ones who had colonies... Humpf!!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Carol,
Go tell that to Mozambique now that they are in the Commonwealth and part of another empire! And of course, what is 80 million to Portugal?

antonio disse...

A respeito da Commonwealth. Tal como nós temos os nossos pobres da paróquia, aqueles a quem ajudamos regularmente exorcizando as nossas consciências.

Também os países têm os seus pobres. Em 2000 fui a Moçambique no período das cheias. Encontrei por lá uma organização cujo responsável se sentia traído, pois para ele Moçambique não era genuinamente um país da Com, uma vez que praticamente ninguém falava inglês: eles só querem o nosso dinheiro, desabafou.

E tinha razão, Moçambique estava a perder toda uma série de ajudas ficando fora da Com, dentro, passando a fazer parte dos pobres da Com, ganhava o direito às ajudas…

Uma atitude bem Lusa, diga-se de passagem.

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Antonio,
So why are they still complaining about imperialism?

Crestfallen disse...

Nós não vendemos, nós oferecemos em troca deram-nos uns trocos, pois o valor pago e um insulto á inteligência de qualquer pessoa.

Esta venda ofende-me como Português.

Quer dizer ainda há pouco tempo Portugal fez papel de rico e perdoou as dividas a Angola e Moçambique e afinal Moçambique tinha dinheiro para pagar!

Blondewithaphd disse...

Dear Crestfallen,
My feelings exactly! We didn't sell we offered.