“I believe that we will be able to, I would say next year, have this decision. I have had contacts with the new leader of the PSD, I think we will not be very far from being able to settle on a methodology for carrying out the strategic environmental assessment that is necessary among the different possible solutions”, said António Costa.

The prime minister was speaking in an interview with TVI/CNN Portugal conducted by journalists José Alberto de Carvalho and Pedro Santos Guerreiro.

Asked whether new locations will be studied in addition to some of those that are already known, the prime minister said he did not want to disturb the dialogue with the leader of the PSD, Luís Montenegro, which has been taking place “in a serene manner”.

Faced with the insistence of the question, Costa replied that a strategic environmental assessment will be carried out on the alternatives that both he and Montenegro understand should be subject to this assessment.

“And after the strategic environmental assessment is concluded, a final decision will be taken”, he stressed.

Costa highlighted that he has insisted since 2015 that “large public works projects must receive the support of at least two-thirds of the parties represented in the Assembly of the Republic”, since they are works to be carried out for decades.