Jose Socrátes Ex Portuguese PM detained for fraud and tax evasion charges

Nov 12, 2014
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Jose Sócrates Ex Portuguese PM detained for fraud and tax evasion charges

Ex Portuguese PM from 2005 to 2011 (Socialist Party), one of the most controversial characters of our recent history, has been detained for interrogation on Tax evasion and other charges.

He's been living in one of the mos luxurious areas of Paris without any know work. Well we will get to know more in the following days.
 
Nov 12, 2014
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Well finally the inquiry by the instruction judge is over.

Sócrates is being accused of Money laudering, tax evasion and corruption. Most important he's going to stay in preventive prison awaiting trial.

I really never understood how a guy that never worked in is life (apart from being PM and secretary of state), could live the good life of a philosophy student in Paris with living in a 3 million Euros Paris house. It seems it was a loan from his mother. :)
 
Gg
Dazed and Confused said:
So a corrupt politician?
Who would have guessed?
Not yet proved. This whole process resembles a kangaroo court, the bonus addition being it's perversion by the instruction magistrate into a complete public circus. I have no doubt they have intentionally been appealing to the public's long psychotic views on Socrates. A great, charismatic politician he is and always will be, regardless of the outcome or the true truth.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Sócrates, like Rajoy and many others, was a henchman for the Troika. He was instrumental in imposing the EU's radically neoliberal politics in Portugal by passing the worst austerity measures in history.

Of course that is not to say he was not a nice guy, or that he was corrupt. But he played an active and essential role in a system that is fundamentally screwed.

Was he corrupt? It wouldn't surprise me. The question is: do you believe in the independence of the judicional system, or do you believe this is politically motivated? But what motivation would the current gouvernment, which carries on Troika/Sócrates' austerity politics to the letter, have in exposing someone who is an important part of the same system? And why now? I can't make any political sense of it - therefore I must believe that the police carried out thorough investigation and arrested him on a well-founded suspicion.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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interesting news, Shingshan.

good post, Christian.
Christian said:
Sócrates, like Rajoy and many others, was a henchman for the Troika. He was instrumental in imposing the EU's radically neoliberal politics in Portugal by passing the worst austerity measures in history.

Of course that is not to say he was not a nice guy, or that he was corrupt. But he played an active and essential role in a system that is fundamentally screwed.

Was he corrupt? It wouldn't surprise me. The question is: do you believe in the independence of the judicional system, or do you believe this is politically motivated? But what motivation would the current gouvernment, which carries on Troika/Sócrates' austerity politics to the letter, have in exposing someone who is an important part of the same system? And why now? I can't make any political sense of it - therefore I must believe that the police carried out thorough investigation and arrested him on a well-founded suspicion.
good post and excellent point.

I'm no specialist at all, but from a layman's view there seems to be plenty of scope in Spain and Portugal for politicians to be corrupt. That said, great to see some of those *******s getting caught with their hands in the cooky jar (or afterwards).

In Germany when we're talking political corruption we're talking about small time stuff like Christian Wulff's candy trips or mild forms of nepotism in the Bavarian CDU, and the occasional plagiary of course:)
Either the German system doesn't allow for mass corruption or they manage to hide it better. Probably the latter. (And do correct me if any of these assumptions are naive/erroneous.)

On a side, it was good to see Bayern president Uli hoenness end up behind bars recently.
Few know that Steffi Graf's father ended up in jail back in the late 1990s for tax evasion.
Will be interesting to see how Lionel Messi's case is dealt with by the Spanish court.
 
Christian said:
Sócrates, like Rajoy and many others, was a henchman for the Troika. He was instrumental in imposing the EU's radically neoliberal politics in Portugal by passing the worst austerity measures in history.

Of course that is not to say he was not a nice guy, or that he was corrupt. But he played an active and essential role in a system that is fundamentally screwed.
Surprised to say but I agree with you, 99% of this.

Henchmen, that is just what these people are. Our democratically governor no longer have the reality of power. The Commission has. Commissars have never been elected by anybody, and have both executive and legislative powers, plus a say on the judicial power. To put it simply, we are living in a dictatorship.

Sócrates was the EU President when the Lisbon Treaty was signed up, while the French and the Dutch had voted against it, 2 years before (while it was called ECT, but it's the same text).

He's a left-winger but absolutely not socialist, the two being irreconciliable for me. I don't have more respect for the "opposition", though. But, Rajoy in Spain, at least had the balls to stop the drift towards separatism in Catalunya (at least for the moment) and other rich regions, which is promoted by the EU and by the Green Party (with the EFA, which the SNP belongs to and formerly the N-VA). The "Left" has always been more favourable to regionalisms than the "Right", I think. That's why I've realised I was a right-winger (which means social).
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Social Democrates in Europe have nothing to do with socialism anymore. They are the second largest group in the European parliament, and they have put this neoliberal system into place in the last 20 years. Just look at the TTIP that is being negotiated right now (again, undemocratically, in some back chambers by obscure technocrats) - this is the essence of neoliberalism. It would never pass without Social Democrates, yet they are actively working towards making this a reality
 
Echoes said:
BigMac, please! :eek:
The head of the pre-trial chamber invited two news agencies to film Socrates' arrest at the airport. Certainly it can't get much more anecdotal than this, and it was just the start of the telenovela. I'm not advocating José Socrates' innocence whatsoever, but a process is automatically vicious when it starts with such barbarity, one would think. I would think. I'm only pointing out a blatant agenda hidden like mice behind a huge Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese indeed. Let us not forget the constant information leaks that should be under investigation secrecy - though we (read the media) were only given what Socrates' was being accused of and the supposed hideous crimes he had commited while in office, and are still to hear about his defence.

The Judicial System here is moribund and the lack of public trust has never been this low. With the Government behind or not (let's assume not for the sake of it), there's an obvious interest in passing the image of a new era. Where have we seen this before. The judicial bodies are in a complete state of ethical prostitution in order to try and clean their image. In this sence, Socrates is the scapegoat that was needed. Do understand that I'm not making any legal judgement, or claiming his innocence, but attacking the way this process was and is being conducted: like an utter circus.

Meanwhile, innocent or not, Socrates' political life was given the death sentence. Because the sensationalist media, which sadly is every news channel and newspaper here, were given what they wanted. Fits the country well: a kindergarten playground filled with ignoramus with their pants down, having the sweet juice of intellectual dishonesty and whatever it is they want to hear, put up their bottoms. It's this mummery and lack of seriousness that seems to be inherent to Portugal that I obviously don't like.

Cheers mate!

Christian said:
Sócrates, like Rajoy and many others, was a henchman for the Troika. He was instrumental in imposing the EU's radically neoliberal politics in Portugal by passing the worst austerity measures in history.
That is an half truth, Christian. Socrates did something to avoid Troika. He knew it would be bad for the country. He had implemented a small series of austerity measures. When he was ready to present PEC IV, and took it to the parliament for approval, it failed, if I record correctely, due to PSD and CSD voting against, as PS did not have the absolute majority. The measures presented were relatively light, but the main parties, sensing a weekness in Socrates' government, were already aiming at elections with the full arsenal. Socrates always tried to keep the IMF away, and, at the end of they day, it was pressure from Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, Minister of Finance, that led to Troika coming over. Teixeira dos Santos contacted the EU before the Prime Minister did, and Socrates eventually turned his back to Santos. They contacted little and actually became foes during the Government's last months. It doesn't seem fair that Socrates is considered a henchman for the Troika, when the main responsible ones are the two who now sit as Prime Minister and Vice Prime Minister of Portugal, Pedro Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas, leaders of PSD and CDS-PP respectively, and who have since imposed the largest austerity measures this country has ever seen. And were responsible for the largest growth of the deficit, surpassing Socrate's government on both accounts. But I don't blame you, as even in here that is the way most think. This leads to my previous assertion that this country has a loose psychosis and paranoia towards José Socrates. An irreversible stigma. It started with claims by various newspapers that he was being investigated, while in office, because of homosexuality suspicions, and that he was part of a lobby to implement gay marriage. Would you believe this? And this was actually product of nation-level debate, sometimes even protests against him - just so you have an idea of how brilliant, rotten and poor in spirit this country was and still is. And then came the accusations regarding him not having completed his degree, and then came Freeport, and a series of other legal inquiries that led to nothing, even after he was out of the job. This man has been persecuted since the dawn of his political life.


Of course that is not to say he was not a nice guy, or that he was corrupt. But he played an active and essential role in a system that is fundamentally screwed.
I think I've answered above. Again, I'm not taking sides on whether or not he is guilty of the crimes he's currentely being accused. Not the object of my argument.

Was he corrupt? It wouldn't surprise me. The question is: do you believe in the independence of the judicional system, or do you believe this is politically motivated? But what motivation would the current gouvernment, which carries on Troika/Sócrates' austerity politics to the letter, have in exposing someone who is an important part of the same system? And why now? I can't make any political sense of it - therefore I must believe that the police carried out thorough investigation and arrested him on a well-founded suspicion.
Nor would it surprise me. Suspicions lie on many, but until then they are only suspicions. I want to believe in the independence of the system, but that's not a preventive factor of anything, as they have their own interests and their own image to preserve or restore. As to why for the current government's possible motivations: with the recent BES and Golden Visas' case affecting the high spheres of the government, they have a point to prove in that the integrity of justice maintains and can reach everyone. Socrates' case is ideal. I'm not saying they orchestrated it - for all I care and know, the chances of Socrates being culpable are higher than not, but this obvious misuse of a high profile juditial process which's details should either be in secrecy or come out entirely, and not be cherry picked, seems like propaganda agenda fit for the government's political interests. Let's say Socrate's arrest was like a gift from the heavens to them. Also, this case clearly affects PS's image, just now that António Costa had taken over and surveys showed the party was gaining ground. Not a conspirancy, but opportunism.

Cheers.
 
I wasn't referring to the trial either, BigMac (perhaps you are right on that point, I don't know, you are certainly better informed than me ;)) but politics and agree with Christian.

You do realise that PEC IV was negotiated with the EU Commission and the ECB, which shows he did not have free hands. You can never take austerity measures in times of crisis, even his measures were lighter.

And then you have what came before, as I mentioned in my second post. He negotiated the Lisbon Treaty as President of the EU, negotiated the ESM (the ESM places its board governor above laws, total immunity, that's something totally insane). Look he's not alone responsible for the situation but he definitely has his share of responsibility. It's not because the "opposition" is bad, and that one guy is persecuted in a wicked way that he is a "great president."


Cheers to you too.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Thanks for your constructive post, BigMac - nice to hear from someone who has followed all this up close during the last several years. My view is obviously very fragmented, so I do not claim to grasp all the subtleties of the problem.

I agree with you that the opposition's coup was pointless because they continue Sócrates' politics, or take the austerity even further as you say. What I was unaware of was the homosexuality debate surrounding him, and this general feeling of "paranoia" that towards him that you describe.

In that sense, one could see his arrest as being politically motivated. The gouvernment could be counting on people seeing Sócrates not as part of the same neoliberal system as them, but as a seperate, independent entity, a personification of everything that is wrong with the country. By making him the scapegoat, the gouvernment might be hoping to tap into this resentment against Sócrates to divert attention from its own actions. Or as you say, even if they did not plan it, they will likely be glad that it happened.

Don't take the discussion on homosexuality too hard. In France there were massive protests against equal marriage rights, presented as "spontaneous civil movements", but really orquestrated by the right wing populists around Le Pen. So I try to see the positive side of it - to me, these were not necessarily people against gay mariage (though of course there were a lot of those), but rather people against change in general. The eternally dissatisfied. German, as always, provides us with the best word for this: "Ewiggestrige"(political die-hard). Literally translated it means "forever yesterday" - people who eternally live in the past. But nevermind those people. History moves on, and "he who comes too late is punished by life", as Gorbachev said.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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sniper said:
In Germany when we're talking political corruption we're talking about small time stuff like Christian Wulff's candy trips or mild forms of nepotism in the Bavarian CDU, and the occasional plagiary of course:)
Either the German system doesn't allow for mass corruption or they manage to hide it better. Probably the latter. (And do correct me if any of these assumptions are naive/erroneous.)

On a side, it was good to see Bayern president Uli hoenness end up behind bars recently.
Few know that Steffi Graf's father ended up in jail back in the late 1990s for tax evasion.
Will be interesting to see how Lionel Messi's case is dealt with by the Spanish court.
It's true that most german scandals, like Wulff or Guttenberg, would probably barely raise an eyebrow in many other countries. Look at criminals like Chirac, Sarkozy and Berlusconi, in comparison to them Guttenberg is a choir boy.

Individual tax evasion is bad and needs to be punished. Here the EU needs to work together to end this. Of course you will always find a jerk of the century like Depardieu who would rather freeze his derrière (pardon my french) off in Russia than contribute to his country.

But the worst is tax evasion by large companies. Here, my native Luxembourg plays an utterly shameful role. If it wasn't for large scale tax evasion schemes, companies like Zara, which turn huge profits, would pay taxes in their home countries (in this case, Spain) and contribute significantly to the State budget. These deals are perfectly legal, which shows how screwed up the system is. For over a decade, a turd of epic proportions such as Jean-Claude Juncker, was able to lure big multinational companies to Luxembourg by granting them a 1% tax on their profits, thus permitting them to save billions. Simultaneously, as head of the Euro Group (never elected by anyone), he was part of the Troika that cut the minimum wages and retirement in Greece, Portugal, Spain, etc. Now the very same turd got himself named (not elected) president of the european commission (with the support of Martin Schultz and his social democrates). The system works.
 
Nov 12, 2014
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About the PEC when he was in govermnent, the problem was that the country was already near bankrupcy (or was already there), and if it was not only his fault, he did help a lot.

Sócrates is not a real Socialist I (he started on PSD in his youth), or he's a Socialist of today, Blair style. In the end we need some... maybe not a revolution, but a global May 68, to remind from where we come from. But then our cars still need fuel.

Of course anyone is innocent until prove guilty, but I'm always suspicious about a guy he depends on his mother the live the high life (and not to survive like many do today).
 
Christian said:
Please elaborate
The demonstration being a far-right conspiracy is entirely your innuendo. So it's yours to elaborate, normally.

Le Pen was clearly neutral on that issue and these people are mature enough to make their educated judgment.

Shingshan said:
maybe not a revolution, but a global May 68, to remind from where we come from. But then our cars still need fuel.
Well May 68 was hardly a socialist movement. Or yes, there was a labour movement which gain a lot of social benefits but it was completely overshadowed by the university student movement which was liberal and probably backed up by bankers in order to get rid of a truly social President: General de Gaulle !
 

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