- Created on Monday, 29 October 2012 08:18
The Commission of Users Via do Infante (CUVI), met in Loulé this weekend, almost eleven months after the December 8th introduction of tolls on the A22 Via do Infante motorway across the Algarve, and relesased the following statement.
The current economic situation justifies the continuation and strengthening of the struggle for suspension of the tolls system.
It is pretty clear to all that tolls have greatly aggravated the economic downturn, with attendant social costs and business failures in the Algarve. There are now tens of thousands of unemployed and many examples of desperate poverty that increases daily. There are many broken families, more deaths and serious injuries on the EN 125 which again became the "street of death."
The PSD/CDS coalition of Pedro Passos Coelho and Paulo Portas is largely responsible for the whole situation in the Algarve. But there are also other officials, in particular the members of the government majority and PS members of parliament also elected by the Algarve ans who have not lifted a finger to demand the abolition of the tolls. This is an unacceptable and shameful attitude which becomes even more incomprehensible when faced with the halting of all works on the EN125.
An official report from Estradas de Portugal shows a loss of €19.9 million on the Via do Infante in the first half of this year.
The report states the cost of the route over this period amounted to €25.8 million, while revenues came to only €5.9 million. In all nine concessions in Portugal the losses reached €284 million, a daily loss of €1.5 million. Revenues from tolls covered only 24% of expenditure and Estradas de Portugal had to borrow €284 million to cover the difference. This government continues to promote and enrich the Public Private Partnership businesses behind this loss making schem.
The Users Committee is arranging urgent meetings with the councils of Lagos, Olhão, Tavira, Faro and S.Brás de Alportel, as well as AMAL and the Algarve Tourism Board.
CUVI will carry out a set of initiatives that will culminate in a powerful action for the immediate suspension of the tolls on the A22, taking place on December 8th on the EN125 and the Via do Infante one year after the introduction of tolls in the region.
More details on all these actions will be announced in due course.
The Users Committee calls for participation of all users, entities and populations to participate in the struggle for the immediate suspension of tolls in the Algarve. The continuation of the struggle, getting stronger every day, is the way forward.
Cuvi - Committee of Users Via do Infante