“We need measures that take into account the new reality of our companies,” Pedro Magalhães, president of APSTE’s management, told Lusa.

The businessman recalled that “the ‘lay-off’ will end” and that government entities “do not recognise the sector”, which does not yet have, for example, its own economic activity code (CAE).

Since its creation, about three weeks ago, the new organisation has already represented 170 members, which is equivalent to “less than 50 percent of companies in the sector” and whose last annual turnover totalled €140 million, he said.

The Portuguese Association of Technical Services for Events announced its proposals for the revitalisation of the sector, in a session in which also the speaker of the local Chamber, Almeida Henriques, the councillor for Culture, Heritage and Tourism, Jorge Sobrado and musician Pedro Abrunhosa took part.

“Without us, artists don’t sing. We get politicians to talk and help in their election to a certain extent”, exemplified Pedro Magalhães, speaking to Lusa.

In his opinion, the measures announced by the Government to support the resumption of economic activity, in the context of Covid-19, “are not the best for the sector”.

“We don’t want incentives to not work,” he stressed.

After the first governing bodies took office, the association wrote to the Government, requesting hearings from the Deputy Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, Minister of Culture, Graça Fonseca, and Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques.

“We are waiting for someone to tell us something, we would like to be heard,” said Pedro Magalhães.

The president of APSTE stressed that the group of companies operating in the area of technical services for events currently accounts for 1,400 employees, in addition to securing seasonal employment for over 4,400 people with different employment status.