“It seems to me that money is clearly insufficient in view of the scale of the problems that the region is experiencing,” said Elidérico Viegas, arguing that “it is not enough for the public investments that are necessary to be made and to support companies”.
Portugal will raise, with the long-term budget of the European Union (EU) and the Recovery Fund, €45 billion in subsidies, earmarking €300 million for the Algarve region, due to the fall in tourism.
The “specific programme for the Algarve region”, supported by an additional €300 million, aims, according to the Prime Minister, “to support the diversification of its economy, improve infrastructure and make necessary investments in the health sector”.
However, despite considering that the specific plan for the region is a “right” measure, the President of the largest hotel association in the Algarve recalls that this “is the area of the country most economically and socially affected” and that the budget of €300 million represents less than 0.7 percent of the total approved for the country.
“I think the Algarve must be endowed according to its contribution to the country’s wealth”, he defended.
According to the businessman, the amount to be allocated to the Algarve “has to be adjusted to the domestic product” of a region in which tourism - the sector that has been most “shaken” by the Covid-19 pandemic - is the main economic activity.
According to the official, the falls in the sector are “enormous”, having hovered around 100 percent in April and May and 90 percent in June. It is expected that the month of July will end with breaks in the order of 60 percent.
In August, the estimate is that the sector will suffer a 50 percent drop, which will start to increase after September, with falls of 60 percent to 70 percent. From October, these values should be in the order of 90 percent.
“We are in a situation where this specific plan to recover tourism in the Algarve requires the definition of a set of exceptional measures, which are intended, on the one hand, to preserve jobs and, on the other hand, to allow companies to continue production for economic and social recovery, which will last for many years”, he concluded.