The Funchal council of the Socialist Party accuses the Regional Government of being centralist and of retaining funds that should not be its own.
Following the Congress of the National Association of Parishes (ANAFRE), which took place this weekend in Portimão, and in which several mayors of the PS participated, the President of the Municipality of Funchal defends the importance and respect for the mayors legitimately elected by the population, “Contrary to what the Regional Government wants to do, with the creation of working groups that nobody knows who they are and that still do not do their due work, because, after a year and a half after the approval of national legislation, we continue to wait for their adaptation ”. “We do not understand how the Regional Government retains funds that should not be its own and that the mayors of PSD-Madeira do not comment on this, when in Portimão what we saw was the defense of local power”, says the President of the Junta of São Gonçalo Parish.
Paulo Bruno Ferreira guarantees the uncompromising defense of local power, explaining that it is the mayors who best know the population, their needs and their desires. “We will not give any truce until the national laws that give more power to municipalities and parishes are adapted to the Region, thus being equated with their national counterparts”, says the official, adding that PS-Funchal “cannot accept that we have a Regional Government which claims to be autonomist, but which, in the acts, is the most centralist government in the country ”.
The mayor also defends the need to hold a meeting of members at ANAFRE in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, considering that the 54 parishes do not dialogue with each other and that it is necessary to quickly promote the conversation between those who represent the parishes and were elected by the populations.
The PS-Funchal recalls the interventions of the various mayors of the party at the ANAFRE congress, whose motto was “Closer and more supportive parishes, more decentralization”, beginning by highlighting that of the president of the Parish Assembly of the Immaculate Coração de Maria, Violante Matos . This official addressed precisely the proximity of the Parishes to the population, denouncing the active role that the Regional Government of Madeira has with the Casas do Povo, through which it wants to replace the local power, thus controlling, through the Quinta Vigia, that same proximity . Violante Matos said that the increase in funds foreseen in ORAM 2020 for these associations – around 1.7 million euros – is precisely the amount that municipalities would be entitled to, if the most recent Local Finance Law were applied in the Region (51 / 2018). As he stated, due to the non-application of that law, municipalities are left with less funds to make the good work that they have been doing reach the populations. Using the words of the President of the Republic in the message he sent to congressmen, he added that if “parishes are the fuses of democracy, then, in Madeira, we run the risk of going into blackout”.
In turn, the president of the São Martinho Parish Council, Duarte Caldeira, presented a motion to the congress (approved by a large majority) with the title “The Local Power and the Autonomous Regions”, where he defended ANAFRE’s more active role in negotiation process of national laws that have repercussions on the Political and Administrative Statutes of the Autonomous Regions, in order to ensure that, when applied, they enter into force in the country as a whole, respecting the differences between each of the island territories and the continent. As stated, laws no. 50/2018 and 51/2018 are the most recent examples that put the country at different speeds, because, despite having come into force in August 2018, in Madeira they are still waiting for their adaptation. Duarte Caldeira reinforced the urgency of these adaptations, as the end of the current autarchic mandate is approaching and Madeira’s municipalities and parishes are in danger of, at the beginning of the next mandate, not yet knowing exactly what they can count on.
The president of the São Martinho Parish Assembly, Thomas Dellinger, presented a motion (also approved by a large majority) under the theme “Informed Parishes, Policy with Vision, Closest Parishes”, having mentioned that the lack of statistical data at the level of the Parishes causes many mayors to have some difficulty in obtaining indicators on the evolution of their parish, so that they can make better decisions based on factual data. In this regard, it recommended ANAFRE to exercise its influence with the Government of the Republic, so that the statistical data frequently collected by the National Statistics Institute reach the level of parish division.