Work on the Algarve's EN125 has crept on for years causing huge delays, especially in rush hour.
This does not occur in other countries where interruptions are at other times and scheduled roadworks have deadlines that are monitored.
Here they dig trenches for pipes, narrowing the lanes, slowing down all vehicles. Months later they dig rainwater drainage systems which also limits traffic speed.
Then they stop everything again and start putting in roundabouts. This gives the impression of disorganisation; or does it?
Who wins, who loses with the chaos on the EN125?
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and professionals lose money as they have less time for their work. Individuals lose time with their families as they have to wait for those who provide services such as carpenters, plumbers, electricians, all arriving long after the scheduled appointment time.
Also, those who work for others and commute have to leave home earlier or arrive late. They are all angry with the queues on the EN125, while the A22 motorway is almost empty.
The competitiveness of businesses, restaurants, and hotels drops, when repairs and maintenance causes delays and skilled workers work less each day as a result. Tourist go home with a bad impression of the Algarve.
Who wins? Euroscut!
The A22 motorway lost half its traffic with the introduction of tolls and the profitability for the friends of politicians was less than what they had expected.
Nowadays, those that are going to be late by using the EN125, go on the A22; the boycott fails.
Those friends are now paying the campaigns for parties that gain power but no votes, since the NABO, N-ulos(invalid), A-bstenção (no-vote), B-ranco (no-choice) and O-thers (less than 1%) have represented 50-53% of all electors since 2003.
Politicians defeated in elections win well-paid jobs in control agencies with nothing to control and Regional Directorates with nothing to direct.
We lose, we who complain but do nothing.
We who do not sign a petition to force Parliament to start an Inquiry.
We who do not denounce this unusual work pattern to the Court and ask it to investigate the terms of the contract.
We who do not write to Reader's Letters in major papers.
We who do not denounce to the Commissioners in Brussels, who promised to listen more to us citizens.
We all just want justice to fall from the sky onto Brussels and Lisbon.
We must urgently change the archaic system of tolls and lower their cost. Keeping things as they are is a crime against the Algarve's economy.
©Jack Soifer, 2016
Consultant, author of bilingual ALGARVE/ALENTEJO-MY LOVE and PORTUGAL PÓ-TROIKA? ECONOMIC DEMOCRACY?