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Your Algarve News Highlights - November 11th 2023

Your Algarve News Highlights - November 11th 2023

Dear Reader,

 

Here is your weekly news overview…

Costa asks the PS not criticise the Public Ministry

The secretary general of the PS today asked socialist leaders to focus on responding to people's problems and not on the media agenda and not to fall into the trap of criticizing the Public Ministry.

These messages, according to socialist sources, were transmitted by António Costa in the final intervention of the meeting of the PS National Political Commission, which lasted around four and a half hours and ended in the early hours of the morning, without a statement of conclusions.

After several members of the PS Political Committee criticized the role of the Public Ministry in the process that led to the dismissal of António Costa from his role as prime minister, on Tuesday, former minister Eduardo Cabrita left a warning, being in the horizon early legislative elections scheduled for March 10th.

“PS’s opponent is the right. It’s not the judicial system”, said the former minister – an idea that had already been defended by socialist MEP Pedro Silva Pereira.

In the final intervention, António Costa sought above all to advise the future leadership of the PS not to focus on responses to the media agenda, but rather on responses to people's problems, arguing that this was the line of success in the last legislative elections on March 30, 2022.

And he even spoke of the trap that could be created if the PS, because of the judicial process that involves it, publicly criticizes the Public Ministry.

The leader of the socialists said he still does not know whether the process involving him “will last three months or three years”.

“But I will take care of it”, he declared, quoted by members of the PS National Political Commission, in a message for the future direction of the party to move forward.

António Costa defended the legacy of the PS in the last eight years of government and considered that the political right, from the first day that his party obtained an absolute majority in the last legislative elections, only thought about dissolving parliament.

Within two weeks, the PS National Commission should schedule the congress for January 6th and 7th and the direct elections for the position of socialist general secretary for December 15th and 16th. Elections in which at least the current Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, and the former minister and current socialist deputy Pedro Nuno Santos will compete.

 

 

CHUA joins cross-border project that aims to save energy

The Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA) is one of the members of a project named “Green Hospitals: Energy Efficiency in Cross-Border Hospitals”, which aims to improve practices and energy efficiency in the Iberian health sector.

 

The project is financed by the Cross-Border Cooperation Program between Spain and Portugal (POCTEP) 2021-2027 and its “main objective is the implementation in Iberian hospitals of best energy efficiency practices and innovative technologies that allow increasing levels of energy savings”, CHUA said in a statement.

 

“The relevance of this project is in line with one of POCTEP’s priority areas of action, which focuses on implementing actions and projects aimed at reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions”, added the hospital center.

 

Centro Hospitalar do Algarve is one of five Portuguese entities in this project, which also includes two Spanish entities.

 

The total financial allocation of POCTEP 2021-2027 for this Green Hospitals project is €2,485,039, of which €1,863,780 will be financed by the FEDER (75% co-financing rate).

 

“The Health sector has been referenced as an ally in responding to climate change, by providing healthcare to populations affected by the climate crisis”, states CHUA .

 

“However, health institutions, especially hospitals, are also, although little known, promoters of the problem, as their activities involve intensive energy consumption due to the need to constantly ensure safety and quality conditions, which now we are trying to mitigate it with these actions”, he adds.

 

The Green Hospitals project is a multidimensional approach that encompasses people, networks of entities, administrations and buildings, and can not only contribute to reducing the ecological footprint of hospitals, but also to increasing the sustainability of Iberian healthcare systems.

 

 

Reprieve for Non-Habitual Residency tax scheme – but for how long?

Dramatic scenes at the top of the Portuguese government have resulted in a last-minute reprieve of its hugely popular Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) tax scheme.

 

But those wishing to take advantage of its unexpected survival are being urged not to delay in applying, amid claims it could be short-lived due to pressure from both inside Portugal and the European Union.

 

The NHR tax scheme offers beneficial tax rates for up to 10 years for successful applicants. Designed to attract wealthy investors to Portugal, it had been set to close to new applicants by the end of 2023.

 

However, the resignation of Portugal Prime Minister António Costa has slammed the brakes on his government’s legislative agenda.

 

Costa quit amid a corruption probe. He denies any wrongdoing.

 

But as a consequence, the annual state budget, which included instructions to wind down the NHR tax scheme to new entrants, has been scrapped.

 

It will come as a huge relief to thousands hoping to take advantage of the scheme but were facing challenges to hit the tight deadlines. There is, in addition, a significant backlog in visa processing at the newly formed Portuguese Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum (AIMA).

 

It was reporting 350,000 visa applications were currently stuck in limbo and getting a SEF appointment is taking many months.

 

Aziz, an NHR tax advisor in Lisbon, is part of Portugal Pathways, which supports people seeking a new life in Portugal by advising on how best to structure their life, income, tax and assets to ensure a smooth transition.

 

He says the extension should not be relied upon.

 

He said: “Because the current government has resigned, its legislative programme – which was due to be approved in parliament – has to be declared null and void.

 

“Which means the proposals to end the NHR tax regime are dead in the water too. But probably not for too much longer.

 

“By the time things have settled, I think we’ll be well into 2024.
“However, I think it would be a surprise for the NHR tax scheme to survive under a new administration, so while it may be extended – perhaps up to the middle or end of 2024 – I would urge anyone looking to take advantage of the tax scheme to act fast.

 

“With delays at AIMA and uncertainty as to the NHR’s long-term future, the quicker you can get your details submitted, the better.

 

“We have seen how quickly things can change and the impact it can have on people’s plans – so while this extension is welcome, it would be unwise to assume it will last for long.”

 

Steve Philp from Portugal Pathways added: “We’ve gone from a mad dash to get NHR and, separately, visa applications in by the end of the year to a bit of breathing space. But we think it will probably be just that.

 

“We would advise anyone looking to take advantage of the NHR tax regime to act now. Get advice, but don’t think you can wait six months because the chances are the NHR tax benefits will still close to new applicants at some point in 2024.

 

“The sooner you can get the ball rolling the more confident you can be in terms of your financial and life planning.

 

“We have seen incredible pressure on the professional supply chain from law firms, tax advisors, NHR and visa specialists, wealth management and real estate companies. This is unlikely to change at least in the short term as more and more people see the opportunity that was thought lost with the old deadline.”

 

Anne Brightman, who runs boutique real estate agency the Brightman Group in Portugal, added the move will also give the property market a boost.

 

She explained: “The anticipated extension of the NHR programme is poised to inject positivity into the property market for 2024.

 

“Prospective buyers had been more cautious about initiating the process, give the imminent end date. This news will provide the spark to ignite the market again.”

 

For more information, please contact steve.philp@portugalpathways.io

About Portugal Pathways

 

Portugal Pathways is dedicated to assisting individuals in optimising their relocation or life strategy in Portugal. Collaborating with leading professional organisations, they provide essential information and advice for prospective and current residents of Portugal


 

Lagos wins "Destination of Excellence" at the Swiss Tourism Awards 2023

In an event that brought together more than 400 destinations from all over the world, Lagos has received the award for "Destination of Excellence" in this year's edition of the international Swiss Tourism Awards.

 

The awards ceremony took place at the 20th edition of the Swiss International Holiday Exhibition, held in Lugano, Switzerland.

 

The Swiss Tourism Awards' main objective is to showcase excellence in different segments of the Tourism industry and discover destinations with a strong tourist vocation and which, in addition to traditional tourist facilities, also focus on sustainability and alternative places and activities.

The reason for Lagos being classified as a "Web2rism Certified Destination" and nominated for the Swiss Tourism Awards was "its beaches and coast, environment and commitment to tourism sustainability strategies".

 

 

Vilamoura: Olympic qualification for 3 sailing classes takes place

Yesterday, for the first time ever, Portugal is the venue for Olympic qualification for three sailing classes, in Vilamoura.

 

The European Sailing Championships for the Olympic classes 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 start today, running until November 13th.

 

The opening ceremony for what is one of the most important international sailing events took place yesterday, in the middle of Vilamoura Marina, where 400 sailors of 34 nationalities, almost a hundred coaches and many dozens of people linked to the organization of the European Championships in the 49er, 49er FX and Nacra 17 classes gathered together.

 

Alos attendin the festivities were representatives from Loulé City Council, IPDJ, Vilamoura Marina, Portuguese Sailing Federation and also from Vilamoura Sailing, the entity that organises this event.

 

These European Championships are also qualifying tests for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, making the 18 regattas planned for each fleet even more competitive.

 

It is the first time that an Olympic qualification event for 3 classes has been held simultaneously in Portugal.

 

On the 11th, 12th and 13th of November it will be possible to watch the final regattas live, via livestreaming that will be carried out from the sea.

 

 

Olhão: Legionella outbreak closes municipal pool and changing rooms

An outbreak of 'legionella' has led to the temporary closure of the municipal swimming pool complex and the changing rooms at the Olhão Municipal Stadium.

 

In a statement, Olhão City Council said that signs of the development of 'legionella' culture had been detected in those two areas, after monitoring the hot water system of municipal public sports facilities.

In conjunction with the Health Authority, the municipality decreed the closure of the entire swimming pool complex, “to make way for a more in-depth intervention, which may have to involve replacing the components of the hot water system”.

According to the municipality, the closure of the entire pool complex is because the procedures necessary to eradicate the bacteria have not yet had the desired effect.

With regard to the Municipal Stadium, “the results of the last counter-analysis carried out are awaited, which will dictate, if negative, the reopening of the changing rooms”.

On discovering the outbreak of 'legionella', the immediate temporary closure of the changing rooms of the two facilities was put put in place, to carry out the necessary procedures for its eradication. This will be done “namely through thermal and chemical shocks aimed at controlling the spread”, says the statement from the City Council.

“Despite the greater investment in financial and human resources and the maximum attention paid to this issue, the number of suspected occurrences and development of 'legionella' cultures in municipal facilities has increased”, says the municipality.

Despite the inconvenience that these closures cause to users, the municipality says it is “fundamental to eradicate the bacteria by all necessary means, to guarantee safe access for all residents”.

 

 

Price of property rental falls in some areas

Prices of houses for rent in the Algarve fell by an average of 2.5% in October, compared to the previous month. 

 

According to the idealista price index , renting a house cost a median average of €13.2 per square metre at the end of October this year. In relation to the quarterly variation, the decrease was 3.3% and the annual variation showed an increase of 18.6%.

In October, prices in the region fell in Loulé (-3.4%), Albufeira (-3.3%), Tavira (-3%) and Vila Real de Santo António (-1.5%). However, they rose in Olhão (1%), Portimão (0.8%) and Lagos (0.5%). In Faro, prices remained stable.

The most expensive municipality to rent a house is Loulé (15.8 euros/m2), followed by Lagos (13.9 euros/m2), Albufeira (13 euros/m2), Lagoa (12.9 euros/m2), Faro ( 12.5 euros/m2) and Portimão (12.3 euros/m2).

 

The most economical are Vila Real de Santo António (10.4 euros/m2), Silves (11 euros/m2), Tavira (11.1 euros/m2) and Olhão (11.5 euros/m2).

At a national level, the price of housing for rent remained stable during the same period, standing at 15.3 euros/m2.

 

More news next week!

 

Ed

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Life in the Algarve – exhibition of paintings

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ARTLINK collective: Meet the Artists - Nov 12th

 

 

ARTLINK collective is delighted to be returning to Quinta da Tor winery, with a new collection of beautiful artwork. Our ongoing exhibition opens with an invitation to "Meet the Artists" on Sunday 12th November from 11.00am - 4.00pm.

 

 

New art exhibition ‘The Beauty of Being’ by Ana António Gill at República 14, Olhão

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To see more info about events coming up in the next few weeks, check out

My Guide Algarve's event calendar

 

For latest information and advice regarding crime, wildfires and the Covid-19 pandemic, visit the

Safe Communities Portugal website

 

Everything you need to know if you are moving to, living in or visiting the Algarve.

AngloInfo website

 

‍Have a great week, from the Algarve Daily News team!

 

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