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Madeira re-elects leader despite financial blip

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Madeira re-elects leader despite financial blip

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The Portuguese autonomous region of Madeira has re-elected its long-standing leader in a vote overshadowed by a major hole in its finances.

Despite admitting under-reporting Madeira’s debts for years, Alberto Joao Jardim of the centre-right Social Democrats was returned as regional president.

But the blip in accounting is costing Portugal nearly 600 million euros this year.

The timing could not be worse, as Lisbon struggles to meet the austerity terms of its bailout from the European Union and the IMF.

Jardim’s opponents have accused him of not telling voters the truth about the inevitability of sharp cuts.