Specific plan to support the Algarve is ‘national priority’, claims President Marcelo
The drawing up of a specific plan to support the Algarve is a “national priority”, defended the President of the Republic at the end of last week, following a meeting with business associations based in the region in Tavira.
img decoding=”async” src=”http://algarvedailynews.com/images/news2/93president-meeting.jpg” alt=”93president meeting” width=”160″ height=”107″ style=”margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; float: left;” />The drawing up of a specific plan to support the Algarve is a “national priority”, defended the President of the Republic at the end of last week, following a meeting with business associations based in the region in Tavira.
At the end of the meeting, which took place at the Vila Galé Albacora Hotel, Marcelo told press that he considered that the Algarve “needs a redoubled and specific attention”. “There is no other region in the country that depends so much on tourism, a sector that has hit the bottom,” he said.
The Government’s announcement of the elaboration of a specific recovery plan for the region is something that Rui Rio, president of main opposition party PSD, had also called for last week in a recent visit to the Algarve.
“With the Government speaking about a specific plan for the Algarve and seeing the opposition leader talking about it, I thought it was a good sign that they understood that this is a national priority. It is not just the government, nor the opposition. This is about everyone”, defended Marcelo, speaking to journalists.
At the end of the meeting at which he met with six business associations (ACRAL, AHETA, AIHSA, CEAL, NERA and ANJE), the President of the Republic explained that he had been delivered a “message of unity”.
“Firstly, they are all united in the same objectives and this is very important. Second, they made the same reading of the situation: there is no time to lose. Tourism, in fact, has dropped to zero and the importance here in the Algarve is decisive”, he said.
The president also addressed the package of 300 million that the Government has already announced that it will allocate to the region, which has received much criticism from some who believe that it is simply not enough.
“It is not that it is not important to have 300 million in other sectors, but the bulk of the Algarve’s economy has to do with tourism and catering”, he considered. For this reason, on the part of businessmen, the President heard requests varying from “a professional training program directed specifically to the Algarve”, to “taking advantage of what may exist following the new regime that followed the simplified lay-off”. This is Marcelo’s fourth official visit to the Algarve within a month. The region, he confessed, feels very different during this unusual summer.
“The portrait they painted for me is what I have seen on the ground. I have stayed in a wide range of hotel. City to city I speak, I go around, I see, I see everything closed, other businesses that are yet to open … I look at the beaches, I see how they are and how the nightlife is non-existent”, he said.
Furthermore, Marcelo explained that his meetings with local mayors and businesspeople will pass through all 16 municipalities in the Algarve over the next few weeks. “The mayors are making contacts, working together and with business associations and, therefore, they are pushing for the cutting edge and advancing in what are the solutions”, he explained.
Taking into account the very difficult situation of the Algarve’s economy, which suffered its biggest break ever due to the pandemic, he promised that he would start visiting at least one municipality every week, until the end of September, to get to know the region’s problems in peron, as well as meet with mayors, businessmen and other local and regional officials.
The objective, said the Head of State on his first visit to Monte Gordo, in the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, is to “pull through for the Algarve” and “fast”. So far, Marcelo has been to Vila Real de Santo António, Lagos, Loulé (with a visit to Boliqueime and overnight in Quarteira) and Tavira.
This week the municipality chosen by the President of the Republic for yet another working dinner with the mayors of the Municipal Councils of the Algarve is Lagoa. It will take place this evening, 4th of August, at 8 pm, in Gaspacho & Migas restaurant, very close to the Paços do Concelho, where the Head of State will hold a meeting with the local mayor, Luís Encarnação prior to the official dinner.