The Socialist Party (PS) of the Algarve today publicly celebrated Prime Minister António Costa’s commitment to the historic Covid- rescue agreement reached last week in Brussels by the European Council.
The creation of a specific plan for the Algarve worth 300 million euros was announced by the politician, and received as good news for the region, which has been abruptly hit by the effects of the pandemic of COVID-19. This 300 m euros, together with the funds due from the EU’s next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, could almost double the European Community funds available for the improving of the region.
Luis Graça, president of the Algarve group of the ruling Socialists, emphasised that this is an opportunity, together with the City Councils, the University of the Algarve and business associations, for all the powers-that-be to present the government with a comprehensive plan that allows the region to become less dependent on tourism, and to develop a set of infrastructures and strengthen the skills and qualifications that reinforce the resilience of the regional economy and the environmental sustainability of the Algarve.
On Tuesday 21st July, the European Council approved a historic agreement to revive the post-Covid EU. The meeting resulted in the approval of a Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 of 1.074 billion euros and a Recovery Fund of 750 billion, with just over half coming of the latter coming as grants.
Portugal will be able to raise, within the long-term budget of the European Union (EU) and the Recovery Fund, approx. 45 billion euros in subsidies, with 300 million euros earmarked for the Algarve region. The money is expected to be injected over the next seven years.
“The crisis that we are going through has particularly affected tourism, which has meant a very particular sacrifice for the Algarve region. There unemployment has risen most dramatically, and it is a region that, being in transition, has had a lower allocation of funds than other regions for several years”, justified PM António Costa.
The agreement comes at a time when Portugal, in the words of António Costa, “struggles to continue to contain the pandemic, and to keep businesses, jobs and family incomes alive”. Speaking to journalists, Costa also noted the need to give the country a burst of “extra energy”. The 45.1 billion euros that Portugal will now receive over the coming years as loans and grants includes 15.3 billion euros in non-refundable transfers (essentially free money) under this program for recovery, as well as 29.8 billion euros in subsidies from the EU budget in the long term.
Source: Algarve Daily News