Fury as Portuguese government diverts millions from Douro

Funds worth as much as €8 million held by the Port and Douro Wines Institute (IVDP) have been transferred to the Portuguese government, according to Paul Symington, chairman of Symington Family Estates.

symington.jpg Speaking to the drinks business, Symington (left) said: “Just over eight weeks ago, as a direct result of the financial crisis, the government stole €8m from the Port Wine Institute, which is 100% financed by the Port trade through an additional tax, which costs our company alone over €1m each year.”
Continuing, he said: “Because all institutions are obliged by the government not to spend over 10% of their budget each year, reserves have built up.
“The funds are used for running the labs, research, quality control, and some generic promotions, and we don’t resent that, but the reserve has built up to over €8m and now the government has run out of money so all reserves in public institutions have been transferred to the treasury – we won’t see this money again, €8m has just been bloody well swiped.”
Symington, who is understandably furious, is considering putting together a legal battle to help the IVDP reclaim the funds. “We are consulting with lawyers at the moment,” he said.
“Imagine what we could do with €8m,” he continued. “Like all regions in the world, there is overproduction in the Douro and it could be used to help farmers abandon their vineyards and leave with dignity,” he said.
“This is our money, it’s not from Brussels, but a tax on Port companies for the Port trade,” he stressed, adding: “We already pay huge corporation tax as well as tax on salaries.
“You can understand the treasury is desperate – it’s got to pay 5.5% on the €78 billion borrowed – but we’ve been robbed, it is outrageous, especially with the problems we face.”
Patrick Schmitt, 25.05.2011

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Champagne Masters 2019

Deadline : 23rd August 2019

The Global Riesling Masters 2019

Deadline : 24th August 2019

Click to view more

The Global Organic Masters 2019

View Results

Cabernet Sauvignon Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more