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Your Algarve News Highlights - February 17th 2024

Your Algarve News Highlights - February 17th 2024

Dear Reader,


Here is your weekly news overview…

Portugal is a NATO ‘delinquent’, according to Trump

The most alarming news this week for Portugal and the rest of Europe has been Donald Trump’s threat to abandon NATO, because some members were “not paying their bills.” He said he told a NATO ally that he would encourage Russia “to do whatever the hell they want to ‘delinquent’ members.”


It sent shock waves across all member states.  As president of the United States from January 2017 t0 January 2021, Trump was scathing about members of the alliance. If reinstated to the White House as expected in this November’s national election, it is feared he may turn his bitter words into action.  At this stage, there are serious worries that his latest threat is more than electioneering hyperbole from a would-be dictator.


Incumbent President Joe Biden called Trump’s comments “appalling and dangerous.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the threat put American and European soldiers “at increasing risk.”


In the aftermath of the Second World War, Portugal was one of the 12 founding countries of the Atlantic Alliance in 1949. Today there are   a total of 31 members of the alliance, Finland becoming the latest, by joining last year. However, only 11 of the 31 are paying their agreed share on defence, according to official estimates. These composed mostly of countries close to Russia and Ukraine. Portugal is among the 20 not paying enough.


The alliance set a target of 2% of gross domestic product (GDP) for each member. Poland is top of the list of spenders with 3.90% of its GDP on defence more than the United States which spends 3.49%.  The United Kingdom is also above the 2% threshold. The most notable members not reaching the target are France (1.90%), Germany (1.57%) and Norway (1. 67%). Portugal is closer to the bottom of the list with 1.48%. Canada has only managed 1.38% and Spain 1.26%.


Despite the defence spending below the 2% guideline, Jens Stoltenberg hit back at Trump, saying, “I expect that regardless of who wins the election, the U.S will remain a strong and committed ally.” He stressed that any attack on a NATO country would “be met with a united and forceful response.”  NATO is heavily involved in supporting Ukraine following Russia’s 2022 invasion, and is collaborating more with Indo-Pacific countries in view of China’s aggression in the region.


Portugal is perhaps one of NATO’s least vulnerable countries should it come to a spread of the conflict in Europe. Yet the geographical location of mainland Portugal, the Azores and Madeira has always offered a strategic, protective triangle for NATO. An increase in defence expenditure will no doubt be debated after next month’s legislative election in this country.      



Portimão: €223k in air conditioning installed at the police station

The Public Security Police of Portimão are celebrating the installation of air conditioning in the city police station, a € 223,000 investment by the Municipality of Portimão.


In a press release, the Municipality states that when signing the protocol, the District Commander of the PSP, superintendent Dário Prates, thanked “another stage of collaboration that the municipality has been providing to the corporation, from which some positive results have emerged from both the tactical and operational level.”

“Allowing good conditions for security forces contributes to improving the performance of our functions, more effectively meeting citizens’ expectations”, stated Dário Prates.

For the mayor of Portimão, Isilda Gomes, this support “is, more than a simple gesture of goodwill, a moral obligation and an investment in the economy, as security constitutes a fundamental good anywhere in the world, without which there is no life, especially in a tourist town like ours.”

According to the mayor, “whenever we asked for intervention, whenever a situation was reported, there was a prompt response from the PSP, which gives comfort to traders, tourists and our fellow citizens, and the value of this stance is incalculable.”

“The security forces will be able to count on us and we will be open to respond positively to any request, aiming to meet your needs, which are also ours”, assured Isilda Gomes, before adding that, in addition to this support, the municipality has commissioned a vehicle, worth €40,000, destined for the PSP of Portimão.


Autódromo do Algarve opens its main grandstand for free, Feb 21st to 25th

The Autódromo do Algarve will open its main grandstand doors to motorsport lovers, with free entry from February 21st to 25th for MotoE, Moto2 and Moto3 testing and races.


The teams from the MotoE, Moto2 and Moto3 world championships are scheduled to meet, between the 21st and 25th of February, at the race circuit in the Algarve for what will be the final test session in preparation for the 75th season of the MotoGP world championship.


Between the 21st and 25th of February, the 4,592 metre circuit near Portimão will come alive with the speed of the three categories and the sound of the Moto2 and Moto3 engines.


For the second consecutive year, they are carrying out the final tests to start the sporting year, with the MotoE's are making their absolute debut in Portugal on the Algarve black carpet, the stage for the first race of the year for the 'electric' bikes.



Albufeira: Construction of desalination plant challenged for causing “environmental crime”

Several groups of people who are against the construction of a desalination plant in the Algarve expressed their opposition to the project last Wednesday, saying it will cause an “environmental crime” in Praia da Falésia, in Albufeira.


“We are on Falésia beach, considered one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in the world, and we are against the construction of a desalination plant that will create problems of contamination and pollution, such as the brine that will be thrown onto our coasts”, said Paolo Funassi, of the informal group of foreigners in the Algarve that claims to have 2,300 supporters.


This group, together with the environmental movement Amar o Mar and Plataforma Água Sustentável (PAS), held an impromptu press conference at one of the entrances to the beach, to explain their position.


These entities are against what they classify as an “environmental crime” with the construction of a desalination plant in Albufeira, which will involve, on a daily basis, the discharge into the sea of ​​“60,500 tons of poison containing heavy metals that cause cancer”.


Also present at the press conference, Álbida Ferreiro, who belongs to the Foreigners in the Algarve group, was representing the family that owns the 12 hectares where the new unit is intended to be, to transform salt water into fresh water.


Ferreiro explained that they received the letter of expropriation of the land for 600,000 euros on December 27th, but that on January 25th the family contested this request, and are still waiting for a response.


The owners do not accept selling the land and Álbida Ferreiro explained that her family immigrated to Portugal 20 years ago, from Galicia (Spain), with her father's dream being to build a nursing home on the land targeted for expropriation.


Ábida Ferreiro was also “very concerned” about the likelihood of there being a “huge devaluation” in the price of around 200 apartments that the family is building on another plot of land close to Praia da Falésia, caused by the proximity of the desalination plant.


The associations that contest the construction of the desalination plant are promoting the signing of a public petition against this project.


According to the text of the petition, the desalination station “does not ensure universal and equitable access to drinking water”, as was assumed by Portugal in the Sustainable Development Goals, “as it will be handed over to a public-private company, which will be compensated whenever there is no need to treat and sell water”.


The text also argues that the effectiveness of this project is reduced, as “it will only respond to the annual needs of around 100,000 consumers”, when the Algarve has more than 400,000 inhabitants in the low season.


The protest platform will launch an “awareness campaign” for its cause with the distribution of leaflets in cafes, restaurants and hotel establishments in the region.


“We are going to launch this campaign because almost no one talks about these issues” here in the Algarve, said Paolo Funassi.


The structural lack of water in the Algarve led the Government, in mid-2023, to take the decision to build a desalination plant in the municipality of Albufeira. The project was under public consultation until December 19th and the tender for the construction work for this unit should have been opened by the end of January.


The company Águas do Algarve has not yet managed to expropriate all the rustic buildings necessary to implement the station, and the impact this will have on the start of works is unpredictable.



"Bad parking" cameras to come into force in March!

Cameras that detect and automatically fine poorly parked cars should start operating in Portugal in March. The system was announced in August last year.


Currently, those who park outside the spaces designated for parking vehicles are only fined if a law enforcement agent passes by at the time. However, this scenario is set to change, with cameras that allow automatic fines for abusive parking, which are due to start operating in March.


According to data, in 2023 more than 33,000 fines were issued for abusive parking in Portugal and 15,515 vehicles were towed.


The city of Porto will be the first to implement this system, and initially the cameras will be installed in at least two service cars. The devices will be placed on the roof of cars and the software will identify poorly parked vehicles, followed by a photographic record of the license plates. Subsequently, it is up to the police officer on duty to collect the fine.


For example, if there is a queue with several poorly parked vehicles, these new cameras will photograph all license plates and the fine will be automatically assigned to the drivers of all vehicles. Therefore, as the police officer no longer has to issue the fine in person, there is no longer the possibility of some drivers escaping the fine because the law enforcement officer did not have time to get to their vehicle.


There is still no information about the timeline for this being extended to the rest of the country.


More news next week!




The News this week is sponsored by Portugal Pathways:

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Currency Market Update - 15th February 2024

The Pound has continued its current slide against both the US Dollar and Euro, falling to fresh lows after it was confirmed earlier this morning that The UK fell into during the second half of 2023. GBP/EUR has now dipped below 1.17 just minutes after this release, with figures showing that the UK economy actually shrank by 0.3% quarter on quarter.



Atlântico: the restaurant where vegetables rule - opens 10th February

This is the restaurant at Vila Vita Parc where Algarvian flavours win fine dining honours, and vegetables have absolute privilege. It reopens on February 10th, maintaining the regional DNA, but also sophistication and suprise.



The AngloINFO Worldwide Expat Survey 2024

This is a Survey of Expats living around the World. Information collected will be used to improve life for all Expats. Some of the questions will provide research regarding the effects of inflation on Expats around the World.




Carvoeiro: 1+2 bed duplex apartment, with communal pool and parking

For sale, this 1+2 bed duplex apartment, with communal pool and parking, only a short stroll to amenities and Carvoeiro beach.



The Portuguese Real Estate Market is Outpacing Traditional International Markets

Real estate prices in Portugal continued to outstrip those of the rest of Europe last year, according to a new study. Independent research by Property Market-Index revealed an 8.1% increase in 2023 for the major real estate markets in Portugal– compared to a  1.7% decrease in the euro area and a 1.1% decrease across the rest of the European Union.



Luxurious 1 Bedroom Apartment on 5 star Resort, Carvoeiro

Discover this hidden gem in the heart of the Algarve paradise! A luxurious apartment of 88.20 m2 within the prestigious 5-star Monte Santo complex.



Prestigious South Facing 5 Bedroom Villa in Praia da Luz

This outstanding, south facing villa situated on the prestigious Funchal Ridge, just a short drive to Lagos centre is located in a tranquil hillside area close to the beaches of Lagos and Praia da Luz.




Austrian Weeks at Vila Vita Biergarten, Feb 15th to March 15th

A series of delicious specialities from Austria will be the star of the Austrian Weeks that will take place from 15th February to 15th March at the Vila Vita Biergarten, in Porches.



Algarve Artists Network “Artists for Hope” exhibition opens Feb 15th, in Monchique

This painting is to be exhibited in the forthcoming Algarve Artists Network “Artists for Hope” exhibition at Galeria do Santo Antônio, Monchique, from 15th February to 14th March 2024.



Portugal Charity Chat Networking Lunch - Feb 22nd

Calling all Volunteers, Charity Enthusiasts and those who want to know more about Charitable efforts in the Algarve!



Cookery Workshops & Culinary Holidays at Figs on the Funcho, Algarve

If you enjoy cookery and the Algarve, enjoy the best of both worlds at one the Springtime Cookery Workshops & Culinary Holiday Experiences at the beautiful Figs on the Funcho retreat.



INFO Presentations for all Coordinated by afpop

afpop, Portugal’s largest Association providing advice and information for foreign residents and property owners, is coordinating a programme of presentations under the banner ‘AFPOP Presents …’ covering a range of subjects in which its Members have expressed an interest to be better informed.



New Associação Alerta de Incendio Florestal Charity Shop - Volunteers required

The Alerta Associação Alerta de Incendio Florestal charity, is opening their own charity shop in Silves, and need volunteers to make this a success! Can you help?



Amigos de Música concerts in February 2024

After a well-deserved pause during January, the Amigos de Música announce two promising concerts on February 20th and February 22nd 2024, we are fortunate to welcome again Portuguese pianistANA BEATRIZ FERREIRA, another talented pianist which the AMIGOS de MUSICA have supported in the past with the AAMSL Young Portuguese Music Scholarship programme launched in 1994 by the Amigos de Música.




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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