The Association of Commerce and Services of the Algarve Region (ACRAL) has begun a series of meetings with regional politicians to complain about the EN125, IKEA and the dire state of the region’s high streets.
The president of the association, Álvaro Viegas, has already talked to the Portuguese Communist Party, led by Paulo Sá, and the Social Democratic Party’s José Carlos Barros and Cristóvão Norte.
Over the next week, Viegas wants to meet MPs from the Left Bloc, the CDS-PP and the Socialists.
In the meetings so far, Viegas has been explaining the proposals and concerns of the association, notably over the completion of the EN125 redevelopment work, especially the section that has not even been started yet between Olhão and Vila Real de Santo António.
"The resumption of works on the current section is good news, but there is no information on the launch of tenders for the redevelopment of the next section under the jurisdiction of Infraestruturas de Portugal," said Viegas, who should not be surprised at any lack of information from the Ministry of from Infraestruturas de Portugal.
The president of ACRAL also explained, as he already has done to the Algarve’s mayors, that he wants to set up a Local Trade Compensation Fund, where the money raised would be spent on combating the negative effects on local businesses when Ikea opens this summer.
This Compensation Fund would be filled by money from businesses: "we propose the Compensation Fund receives a percentage of the money received by the municipalities from licensing fees and fines," summarised Viegas, realising that the fund would be at expense of councils' budgeted incomes so has little chance of seeing the light of day, at least in this financial year.