The Socialist Party (PS) of the Algarve today publicly celebrated Prime Minister António Costa's commitment to the historic agreement reached this morning in Brussels by the European Council.
The creation of a specific plan for the Algarve of 300 million euros was announced by the politician, received as good news for the region hit abruptly by the effects of the pandemic of COVID-19 and which, together with the funds of the next Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, can almost double Community funds available for the improving of the region.
Luis Graça, president of the Algarve group of the ruling Socialists, underlines that this is an opportunity for, together with the City Councils, the University of the Algarve and business associations, to converge with the government in the development of a plan that allows a change in the region's productive profile, which today is completely dependent on tourism, and the development of a set of infrastructures and the strengthening of skills and qualifications that reinforce the resilience of the regional economy and the environmental sustainability of the Algarve.
The European Council approved this Tuesday, July 21, a historic agreement to revive the post-crisis community economy after being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, in a total package of 1.82 billion euros. Portugal will be able to raise, with the long-term budget of the European Union (EU) and the Recovery Fund, 45 billion euros in subsidies, earmarking 300 million euros to the Algarve region, mostly to the drastic fall in tourism. The money is expected to be injected over the next seven years.
“The crisis that we are going through has particularly affected tourism, which has meant a very particular sacrifice for the Algarve region in specific, being in fact the one where unemployment has risen most dramatically, and it is a region that, being in transition, it has had a lower allocation of funds than other regions for several years”, justified PM António Costa.
The decision came at 5:30 am, minutes after EU heads of state and government resumed formal work in Brussels after the difficult negotiations in recent days. The meeting resulted in the approval of a Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 of 1.074 billion euros and a Recovery Fund of 750 billion, with just over half in grants.
The agreement comes at a time when Portugal, in the words of António Costa, "struggles to continue to contain the pandemic, and to keep businesses, jobs and family incomes alive". Speaking to journalists, Costa also noted the need to give the country a burst of “extra energy”. Among the 45.1 billion euros that Portugal will now receive over the coming years include 15.3 billion euros in non-refundable transfers (essentially free money) under this program for recovery, as well as 29.8 billion euros in subsidies from the EU budget in the long term.