by Tânia Laranjo
The unburdening, from an employee who still has his job at the resort in the Algarve – where Madeleine disappeared from two years ago, on the 3rd of May -, illustrates the ‘revolt’ against the McCanns. They are accused of simulating an abduction and prompting the exodus of tourists from the Algarvian village.
Now, the more than one hundred workers that were dismissed over the last two years promise to advance into court, demanding the payment of damages. ‘We’re looking for a lawyer who specialises in Work Law. What we want is for justice to be done. The firm has alleged dismissals due to a cut down in invoicing, and in the dismissal letters explicitly mentioned that they were due to the McCann case. It was because they advanced the abduction version that Luz stopped being sought as a tourist destination. The resort was the first one to feel the downturn’, the same employee says, declining to identify himself.
Nevertheless, the Ocean Club workers assert that the firm has adopted a correct behaviour towards them. ‘After the upheaval that the McCann family has prompted, it was impossible for us to resist. The clients left, reservations fell right away during that summer. The work places were at risk.’
The dimension of disaster was such that, in May 2007, when Madeleine disappeared from the apartment, the Ocean Club, which manages 400 units, employed 130 people. ‘Today we are 27. But for how long?’, the same witness questions.
The stories of despair are numerous. Women and men, aged 40/50, who suddenly are jobless. ‘The village is small and everyone has been hit by the case. There is no capacity to find alternatives and many families face serious problems. People who had been working for the firm for over 20 years and now, all of a sudden, they don’t know what to do. And many of the shop owners are making an effort to keep their doors open until summer. But if business doesn’t improve, they’ll be forced to close’, a former employee concludes.
The impossibility of the child’s abduction
Two years later, the mystery lingers on. And without the child’s body being found, the hypothesis of homicide had to be formally abandoned. All that is left is the contradictions that hardly sustain the abduction theory that was advanced by the parents and turned Ocean Club into a cursed place.
The McCanns assert that they left Maddie asleep with her siblings and that it was Kate who noticed the child missing. It was around 10 p.m., and the couple insists that every 15 minutes one of the group’s adults checked the rooms to verify that no intruder had entered. During the first hours after the disappearance, Kate asserted that the window had been broken into. An abductor had entered the bedroom and had taken the little girl.
The lab tests didn’t confirm the theory. On the window, there was only Kate’s DNA. There is no trace of a stranger. The bed where the child had supposedly slept looked untouched. The abductor also had to pass by the other two children to reach Maddie. The possibility of a paedophile network was set aside because the child was only three. It’s also strange that Madeleine didn’t scream or wake up when she was taken.
‘I’ll be a witness’ (Gonçalo Amaral, former PJ inspector)
Correio da Manhã – The resort’s workers want to sue the couple, after the dismissals. Do you understand the motivation?
Gonçalo Amaral – I do not only understand it, I think they are right as well. I’m available to testify for them, if they wish so. Because the abduction is a lie.
- How has this case affected the village of Luz?
- Today, Praia da Luz is a ghost village. The English stopped going there.
- And should the parents be held responsible?
- I think so, because they told a lie. They know that Madeleine is dead and that there were no abductors.
source: Correio da Manhã, 16.04.2009