Buying votes?

Election year in Portugal with the country revving up for the European elections in June followed by parliamentary elections in October. There is now a frenzy of public works underway including the long overdue re-building of my walls at where the local câmara expropriated some land at the bottom of the quinta (see my last entry on Monday 4th August 2008). One of the azinhagas that forms the boundary to the quinta is being widened at huge expense so that my neighbours can access their property with a car. Four votes there. There is also a much needed new highway being built to bypass the corksrew roads that link the nearby towns of Crato and Alter do Chão with Portalegre. A tantalizing short stretch has now opened but although the remainder looks finished it is sure to remain closed until shortly before the election to maximize its political impact.