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Finance minister convinced she is right

Maria Luis AlberquerqueThe Finance Minister, Maria Luis Albuquerque, said today that there are no conditions for lower taxes next year, but she hopes that this will be possible in 2015.

"We have not had the conditions to lower the tax burden in 2014, we hope that in the 2015 budget there can be a little more slack to reduce the tax burden that affects workers," said Albuquerque this morning.

Portugal’s public debt out of control

Portugal's parliament loses gripPortugal's public debt reached 131.3% of GDP in the second quarter of this year, the third largest in Europe, according to data released today by Eurostat.

This is a quarterly rise of 3.8% compared to the first quarter of this year and 13.1% higher than at the same time last year, so much for austerity measures, this is concerning on an internal and international level and Portugal may be lucky to maintain its already poor but seemingly stable credit ratings.

Portugal's filling stations face crisis

fuel sale dropThe figures are through for fuel sales for last year and it is no surprise that the downward trend has continued. On top of declining sales figures over the last five years the sector suffered a further drop of over 10% compared to 2011.

A D&B study forecasts further sales erosion in Portugal, the prediction for 2013 is for a drop of 7.5% compared to 2012.

In Spain the decline between 2011 and 2012 was held at 6.5%, with a forecast for a 2013 decline of 4.8 % over last year.

Finanças’ net closes in on Portugal’s footballers


The Portuguese and Spanish tax authorities yesterday signed a series of agreements that will strengthen actions to combat tax fraud and evasion.

One of the measures in this new accord is the exchange of ‘live’ information on taxpayers who earn money in Portugal and Spain, such as top Portuguese footballers playing for Spanish clubs and having financial interests in both countries.

Algarve Tourism to spend €55,000 on roadshow and dinners

MadridThe latest wheeze to get Spaniards across the border to spend money in the Algarve involves a roadshow to various Spanish cities.

The regional tourism board for the Algarve leaves for Seville, Granada and Madrid to buy travel agents dinner at the end of October in a deft move designed to capture tourists by persuading travel agents and the Spanish press that the Algarve is a fine low season destination, which indeed it is.

Organic gin produced in Évora

Templus ginThe first organic gin to be produced in the Iberian Peninsula is now flowing from a company in the Alentejo which uses organic ingredients and hand craftsmanship.

The 3Bicos company is carving a niche in the huge gin market from a factory on the outskirts of Évora. The business is known for its production of liqueurs made with organic local ingredients but the addition of gin to its list has inflamed the desires of Algarve-based expats - and pilgrimages already have started.

Aljezur set low 2014 council tax

Aljezur drops council tax ratesAljezur council voted to lower council tax rates at the first meeting of the new term for the socialist leadership.

Mayor José Amarelinho said the council tax reduction takes into account "the difficult situation that families have in the current crisis, with a high tax burden that is expected to go up next year, with more cuts in wages and pensions."

Young Algarve farmers lead an agricultural revolution

Red fruits for exportA new breed of farmer is boosting the Algarve’s agricultural sector, especially in the production of honey, avocado and red fruits.

The director of the Regional Agriculture and Fisheries called this 'a revolution' and a decisive factor in the agricultural sector's growth in the Algarve with up to 500 young farmers setting up in business in the last seven years.