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Your Algarve News Highlights - April 6th 2024

Your Algarve News Highlights - April 6th 2024

Dear Reader,

Just a heads up - there will be no newsletter next week, but normal service resumes the following week.


Here is your weekly news overview…

First week of the new Portuguese government

Prime Minister Luis Montenegro, of Portugal’s new centre-right government said at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday this week that he expects to serve for the entire four-and-a-half-year term, despite his party’s very narrow election victory and the country’s instability.


With just 80 seats in the 360-seat parliament, the minority government will only be able to pass legislation with support from the 78-seat centre-left Socialist Party. The biggest obstacle will be stiff opposition from the 50-seat far-right Chega (Enough) party. 


During the election campaign, Montenegro promised to lower taxes, increase salaries and pensions, and improve public services. As admirable as all that sounded, will he be able to garner sufficient support to deliver, even from the moderates in the new National Assembly?


Things started on a happy note with messages of congratulations from the European Union, the United States, and others. Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promised a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. He said the new government required “careful dialogue” to increase its support base.  He recommended that the prime minister exercise patience rather than raising illusionary ambitions or expectations for the nation’s citizens.


The prime minister seemed to agree when he warned that Portugal had not become “rich” just because it had the budget surplus reported last year. To do so would be “dangerous, wrong and even irresponsible.”


He promised to reveal an emergency health programme by 2 June. He also announced that the government would seek dialogue with the parliamentarians of all parties to find a way to fight corruption.


The first cabinet meeting was held on Wednesday.  The following day the prime minister had a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zekensky during which he pledged Portugal’s political, economic, humanitarian and military backing for Ukraine “for as long as it is needed.” Foreign Minister Paulo Rangel said there would be no repeat of the previous government’s “hesitation” in supporting Ukraine joining the EU.  The foreign minister also announced that the prime minister’s first foreign trip would be to Madrid.


A massive job certainly lies ahead for the prime minister who has never served in a government before. Few of his cabinet have either. Whether they will now be allowed to serve for a full term seems doubtful.



Man stabbed to death in Portimão

Last night, the PSP arrested the suspect of a stabbing, which took place during a fight with another man in Portimão, at around 8.40pm. 
The alert “for an occurrence of aggression between two individuals, involving the use of a bladed weapon”, was given at 8:40 pm that day.
When they arrived at the scene, the police found the victim motionless on the ground and receiving medical assistance.
The suspect was still at the scene, showing “strong indications that he had just committed the crime". He was arrested and the bladed weapon seized.
According to the statement released by the PSP, “the victim was immediately transported to Portimão Hospital, where he was declared dead”.

The Algarve seawater desalination plant receives a favourable Environmental Impact Statement

The Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) has issued a favourable Environmental Impact Statement for the seawater desalination plant project to be installed in the Algarve, although it is still subject to compliance with a set of conditions.


In a statement, the APA states that regarding concerns related to the impacts of brine rejection on marine ecosystems, the assessment “took into account the results of the study of the spatial influence of the dispersion of saline effluent in the sea presented”.

According to the APA, despite considering that the impacts “are not significant, a set of requirements were incorporated into the decision to safeguard these possible impacts, as well as the development of possible additional minimization measures”.

The desalination station project to be installed in Albufeira is part of the Algarve Regional Water Efficiency Plan, being one of the investments in component C09 – Water Management of the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR), specified the APA.

The environmental impact assessment procedure took into account the concerns expressed during public consultation, “which coincide with the main themes addressed and considered in the assessment and, in general, are reflected in the set of established conditions”.

According to the APA, given that the environmental impact assessment procedure took place in the preliminary study phase, “a second assessment will occur in the execution project phase, with a view to verifying the environmental compliance of the execution project with the DIA now issued.”

Therefore, licensing and the beginning of construction of the desalination plant can only occur after issuing the environmental compliance decision for the implementation project, the APA clarified.

The decision resulted from the evaluation carried out by the evaluation committee set up for this purpose, coordinated by APA and which included representatives from various bodies, namely the Algarve Regional Coordination and Development Commission, the Institute for the Conservation of Nature and Forests, the National Laboratory of Energy and Geology, the General Directorate of Natural Resources, Security and Maritime Services, the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto and the Baeta Neves Center for Applied Ecology of the Instituto Superior de Agronomia.

The construction of a desalination plant in Albufeira, whose base value is 90 million euros, is one of the response measures to the drought affecting the southern region of Portugal, with the equipment expected to have an initial capacity to convert seawater in potable capacity of 16 cubic hectometres.

According to Águas do Algarve, the company responsible for supplying water in the region, which is responsible for managing infrastructure such as dams or Wastewater Treatment Plants, the work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2026.
The year 2026 is the year established as the limit for the use of PRR funds, a support program created by the European Union to revitalize the economy after the covid-19 pandemic.

The Algarve is being affected by a drought that caused a shortage of water reserves and the previous Government took measures to restrict consumption to be applied from March, such as cuts of 25% to agriculture and 15% to the urban sector.

In addition to the desalination plant, municipal investments are also underway to combat network losses, reduce or eliminate irrigation in green spaces or use treated water to irrigate golf courses and clean streets.

At the same time, there are plans and proposals to capture water from the Guadiana river in Pomarão and take it to the Odeleite dam, in the eastern Algarve, and the construction of a third dam in that area of ​​the Algarve, on the Foupana river.



Problems loom for the new parliament

It seems clear that instability looms for the centre-right Democratic Alliance (AD), which will try to rule in the new Portuguese government with a very small majority.


The government’s agenda is to be debated in parliament on the 11th and 12th April. This has been announced by the assembly speaker, Pedro Aguiar Branco, who was chosen last week, but only after three failed voting sessions when the 230 members elected on March 10 manage to agree.


The AD alliance led by the Portuguese Socialist Party (PSD) with its 80 seats, and the Socialist Party (PS) with 78, eventually compromised by agreeing to a rotating speaker arrangement in which the PSD’s Sr Branco will be in office for two years and then replaced by a PS speaker.


The far-right Chega party, which quadrupled its seats since the last parliament to 50, has already been showing opposition that could prove to be paralysing for the two mainstream parties.


Chega’s founder and leader, Andre Ventura, has been seeking a long-term deal with the AD, but the AD Prime Minister Luis


Montenegro, has repeatedly rejected any such cooperation in return for far-right support.   


The new parliament faces massive challenges to bring stability to Portugal, which is regarded as Europe’s poorest nation despite strong growth since 2015 under repeated PS governments. The AD, perhaps with PS support, will have to try and improve low wage levels, the ongoing housing crisis, severe problems within the national health service, and the country’s ever-present corruption activities.


The new parliament is likely to be the most fragmented since the Carnation Revolution of 25th April 1974 when the coup by left-leaning military officers ended more than 40 years of dictatorship. The revolution turned Portugal’s focus from its colonial wars and fading worldwide empire to joining the many democracies on the European continent.  


Portugal now remains a peaceful country and a dedicated member of the European Union. It is not surprising, even though it has shocked many socialists, that the Chega (Enough) party has followed similar success among populist groups in several other European countries including Germany, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Spain, instigated among other things by the failure to properly control the influx of refugees.  


Chega appeals to many younger voters in Portugal as well as some of the older ones who have fond memories of the pre-revolution Salazar dictatorship days. They are dissatisfied with mainstream politicians and want the sort of basic changes that Andre Ventura, 41, is espousing.


He has been deeply critical of things ranging from road tolls to political cronyism, “50 years of corruption” and “50 years of taxes to support parasites.” He has called his party “the last hope.”


Let’s see.   

 Written by Len Port 


GNR records 827 accidents, 2 deaths and 10 serious injuries during 'Operation Easter'

Two people died and 10 were seriously injured in the 827 accidents recorded by the GNR during their 'Operation Easter 2024' road safety campaign, which started last Thursday and ends today.


Of the 22,263 drivers monitored during the operation, 303 were driving with excess alcohol and 165 were arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level greater than 1.2 g/l.


The statement released by the GNR also says that 56 people were arrested for driving without a legal license.


Between 00:00 on Thursday and 23:59 on Sunday, 240 minor injuries were also recorded on the roads.


In total during the operation, the GNR detected 2,913 road traffic violations, 642 for speeding, 455 for lack of mandatory periodic inspection, 153 for lack of mandatory civil liability insurance and 76 for anomalies in lighting and signaling systems. 69 drivers were also detected using their cell phone incorrectly while driving and 85 cases of missing or incorrect use of seat belts and/or child seats.



More news next week!




The News this week is sponsored by Portugal Pathways:

Portugal Pathways

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Our expert team can ensure that you optimise any tax benefits from your income streams and assets when tax-domiciled in Portugal if you structure your NHR tax status in the right way for the long term.


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Wealthy US Expats in the Algarve Renouncing Citizenship Amid Tax Changes

Renouncing US citizenship is becoming increasingly common among affluent expats residing in the Algarve, driven by tax considerations and policy shifts. Since the implementation of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) in 2010, US citizens living abroad, particularly in the Algarve, have encountered significant challenges related to tax compliance and asset reporting.



New government, new crisis?

The new Portuguese government has politicians known for their good intentions, but may be not all with the needed experience to get results in the very short run. Portugal will face next year a deeper crisis than the EU.



Currency Market Update - 4th April 2024

The Dollar has hit a one-week low earlier this morning as recent economic data releases have ramped up expectations for quicker than expected Interest Rate cuts in The US. An unexpected slowdown in US Services growth has also contributed to the Dollar falling. It was stated yesterday by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell however, that the central bank would place a continued focus on the need for more debate and data before cementing decisions on rate cuts, a move which is currently expected to take place in June.



SNAPSHOT! Art and Photography news from the Algarve - April 2024


It's here - the April 2024 edition! One of us has been in the wars, find out what happend, PLUS all the firm favourites and more, such as Meet the Author, Learn Portuguese, In the studio with, Charity news, and of course the usual art and photography news.




For Sale: Luxury 2 bedroom townhouse on the prestigious Monte Santo resort & Spa, Carvoeiro

For sale, this luxury 2 bed townhouse of 129.70m2, plus 43.50m2 terraces, with distance sea views, overlooking the garden and the pool at the 5-star resort Monte Santo, Carvoeiro.



Charming 1 bedroom apartment in Marina Park, Lagos Marina

Situated within a charming condominium in Lagos, this 1 bedroom apartment presents an ideal blend of comfort, convenience, and green surroundings. Positioned on the 2nd/top floor, this residence offers a serene retreat within a sought-after area.



Viseu: Plot with planning permission for 3 Bedroom Villa

This 1,314 m2 plot with an old Portuguese property on it in Mortágua, Viseu in northern Portugal, is for sale with final stage planning, to  build a brand new 3 bedroom villa of up to 140m2.



Superb frontline 3+2 bedroom villa with heated pool, Burgau

This superb 3+2 bedroom villa with heated pool is situated in a prime position in Cama da Vaca, just minutes from the beautiful village of Burgau, offering fantastic 360º views of the sea and the beautiful surrounding countryside.




Seminar: How US-connected citizens in the Algarve can optimise their investments and income

In response to the growing interest in tax optimisation and investment strategies among US-connected individuals in the Algarve, Portugal Pathways is hosting a webinar titled "How US-connected citizens in the Algarve can optimise their investments and income."



9 year old will take on grueling swim challenge to raise funds to protect octopuses

Lily, a 9 year old who has just moved to Portugal from the UK, is going to take on a 2 km sponsored swim challenge in the Atlantic ocean, to help raise funds to protect octopuses from being farmed.



'Hatshepsut: Egypt's Greatest Female Pharaoh' with Dr Campbell Price - April 9th

On Tuesday 9th April, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by Dr Campbell Price. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Traje in São Bras de Alportel, the second lecture will be at 6pm at the Convento de São José in Lagoa.



Calling all Charities, Volunteers, Charity Enthusiasts - let's get together!

Hello all Charities, Volunteers, Charity Enthusiasts and those who want to know more about Charitable efforts! 



Natural Hazards Preparedness Survey

Safe Communities Portugal  woul like your help please, in undertaking this short survey, to establish the current level of risk awareness and preparedness among communities.



Cat Charity Walk - April 13th

Join our Cat Charity Walk on April 13th, to help raise funds for the Mr No Ears Cat Haven's external project, "Silves Street Cats".



Cookery workshop "Flavours of the Portuguese Spice Route" - April 9th

Flavours of the Portuguese Spice Route: A Journey Through Africa. Join us as we sail the Spice Route. We will follow in the footsteps of Bartolomeu Dias, the first European explorer to sail around the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. 




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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