Friday, 31 October 2014
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farowallThe president of the Portuguese Association of Municipalities with Historical Centres (APMCH) today advocated the need to streamline the permit process for the rehabilitation of historical centres and to be able to fine investors who give up on projects.

"Portugal surely loses many investors because they realise that we have many rules and opinions, some of which overlap," said Victor Mendes, recognising the efforts of the government to alleviate the associated paperwork, but arguing that there is still a way to go.

trainRefer, the national railway company said today that it had finished upgrading the railway line between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António in the Algarve.

In a carefully timed press announcement, the company said that the €2.9 million contract was designed to “strengthen security and improve timeliness along on the line serving the eastern Algarve where trains now can move faster.”

riaformosaThe failure to dredge key sections of the Ria Formosa has enabled siltation and sand bars to establish themselves causing danger to inshore shipping.

This situation led to the death this week of a local fisherman from Olhão, according to the Cooperativa de Viveiristas da Ria Formosa (FORMOSA).

 

diverPortimão council’s tourism arm, alongside Algarve based companies with activities related to diving, took a stand at the Birmingham Dive Show 2014, the largest diving event in the UK, held this week and attended by around 15,000 people over the two days.

The event started in 1991 and this year attracted over 250 stands taken by companies and tourist bodies from around the world.

louleconventLoulé council executive has approved a 2015 budget of almost €102 million, and claims that the lion’s share is budgeted for capital expenditure - €46 million - in addition to significant spending on social services and education.

According to the deputy mayor of Loulé, Hugo Nunes who is responsible for Finance this is a budget notable for "accuracy and transparency” - notable perhaps for the lack of large wodges of budgeted income from the 'sale of council assets' which has been a budget item in past budgets but always has failed to appear.

msMarks & Spencer reports that its best selling ready meal in Paris is chicken tikka masala, with just one store selling more than 70,000 a year.

M&S is not alone in seeing a rise in popularity of British food. Pret a Manger is capitalising on quick food to go as well as a host of smaller British purveyors.

benagilExpats seeking to cash in their UK personal pensions next year under new British government legislation may expect some difficulties along the way.

From April next year, pension pots can be accessed once a person reaches 55. People will be able to take as much of the money as they wish, although 75% is taxable at a marginal rate and 25% is free of tax.

madridSpain’s economy may be turning a corner after initial estimates suggest that there has been growth for five quarters in a row.

The country’s statistics office was the economy grew by 0.5% during the July to September quarter. This follows growth of 0.6% in the quarter before.