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Thursday, 20 October 2016

MEPs doing NOTHING to help!

Cape Verde is now setting up an office in Luxenburg to target EU pensioners - this is not OK considering The Cape Verde Scandal and another major example of what is wrong with the EU.  It's not to enhance the lives of the pensioners just to raise 100m €s to build more resorts!  come on MEPs you are supposed to support Europeans!  We have explored all legal routes - I can give you advice we have had today from an English lawyer advising us about the Cape Verde law system!  We only invested as it was endorsed under the EU - I would never of invested in Africa otherwise!!! We have been robbed and no one cares or is too scared to do anything even people at the top who are supposed to have powers!

Ten years ago Cape Verde, a small group of islands south of the Canaries, was hyped as the next holiday home hotspot. Apart from the perfect climate, Cape Verde sold itself on being an associate member of the EU as well has having solid property laws (it was until recently a Portuguese colony). The favoured currency in the country is the Euro. UK and Irish investors bought into promised developments promoted by Irish, British and Italian developers, handing over stage payments totalling an estimated € 300 million. As the credit crunch hit, the developers fled the country, taking much of investors' money with them, with no one to stop them. To date, only a small minority of several thousand investors have received the keys to their properties. The majority – the unlucky ones – are still fighting to get their money back or a completed property. Hard luck, I hear you say, but here is the rub. Investors were led to believe that Cape Verde, being backed by Portuguese and Irish banks under Portuguese property laws and using Euros, was a  failrly safe investment. Over the years the EU has pumped an estimated 150 million Euros into the Cape Verde economy to build its infrastructure and wind farms. It recently committed a further 50 million up to 2020.

During all this EU investment, frustrated UK investors have been writing to EU officials and local MEP's in an attempt to get them to do something to help them. Why? Because the Cape Verde government, tourism ministry, foreign investment department and the whole Cape Verde legal system has been impossible to deal with. Even Portuguese authorities won't help. No one in Cape Verde gives a damn about the foreign investors who have lost millions there. So why is European taxpayers' money being lavished disproportionately on this small island nation? Apart from gaining something from Cape Verde's fishing rights and open skies policy, the ordinary man has not figured it out. This seems like another one of those nonsensical policies dreamt up by a few EU officials who probably quite like going to Cape Verde for their holidays. It does have a long history of being popular with, er, German tourists. A quiet destination for those Eurocrats wishing to holiday away from the public eye? But then look at all the money that will flow to the likes of Albania, Romania and, very soon, Turkey, courtesy, in part, of the British taxpayer. “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs” - Marxism is alive and well in Brussels, it seems.

Since EU money started flowing into Cape Verde it seems that the good and friendly people of that nation have not benefitted much. The relatively small population still lives in poverty and remains untouched by the disproportionately huge inflow of Euros from EUsubsidies and UK and Irish property investors. The main beneficiaries in Cape Verde in recent years are the drug traffickers, who have rapidly geared up their operations, using Cape Verde as a gateway between South America and Europe, and financing terrorist operations in the Middle East, according to Cape Verde's own newspaper Asemana.

Where has the money gone? Some of the largest developers in Cape Verde back in 2006 took tens of millions from investors as stage payments but these were not protected by the banks. Little of that money was spent on building work. After 8 years, investors have got nowhere through the Cape Verde courts. One of the highest profile developments, Sambala, was owned and run by British resident Jonathan Grepne from a UK sales office. He took upwards of € 50 million from 500 UK investors in stage payments but building at his resort ground to halt even before the credit crunch started. Investors later discovered he was living off their money in Monaco whilst using a British Virgin Islands company and Swiss bank account to protect his new found wealth. He has strung investors along for years with false promises and claims there is no money left (but obviously still enough to fund his Monaco lifestyle). Now it seems he is trying to sell his Cape Verde assets onto a Far East company, potentially leaving investors high and dry.

But the biggest failed development of all is a government backed one which has been funded by EU taxpayers to the tune of € 180 million, mostly through Banco Espirito Santo (BES) – now taken over by Novo Banco as part of the Portuguese government's recent bank bailout. BES lent this money to the Cape Verde developer Tecnicil to fund construction of, in conjunction with investor stage payments, the massive Vila Verde resort consisting of hundreds of apartments, townhouses and villas. In total, an estimated € 250m of EU citizens' hard earned cash has been swallowed up by Tecnicil. The resort was largely finished but three years late, during which time Tecnicil breached investors' contracts. Far from paying investors compensation or their full money back due to late delivery, they demanded that investors pay them even more money than contractually obliged to get the deeds to their properties. But now Tecnicil refuse to engage with investors, many of who have tried and failed to get recourse via the inept or corrupt Cape Verde legal system. And Novo Banco won't talk to investors either despite many months of attempted communication. Novo Banco presumably holds the Vila Verde resort on its books as a toxic asset. Apart from allowing Tecnicil to mysteriously repay a small handful of investors some of their money back earlier this year, Novo Banco have apparently paralysed progress of the resort – now sitting as a ghost town. They should be answerable to their EU citizens and investors but they just won't give any answers. An organised and exasperated group of Vila Verde investors has been stonewalled by Novo Banco and various responsible departments in the EU headquarters in Brussels. They recently held an authorised demo outside the LSE buildings where Novo Banco has its offices. Despite Novo Banco being warned of the demo well in advance by the Metropolitan Police and investors, no one from the bank had the courtesy to come down and speak to the protestors and they refused to accept a hand delivered letter during the demo. It seems these investors' nightmare will continue well into the future.

So what is the point of the EU exactly, and their continual propping up of a poorly governed group of small islands off West Africa? With EU policies on immigration and outward investment, favouring people and countries that don't do anything for us in return, what about us? What are we getting out of this ongoing shambles of a united Europe, except poorer?

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