Algarve mayors committed to decentralisation despite “doubts”

Algarve mayors are committed to decentralisation – the shifting of power from central government to local councils – despite the “doubts” that they feel about the process.

So said António Pina, president of the Algarve municipalities association (AMAL), after a meeting this week between the association and two government officials.

“The meeting was of crucial importance as this is a matter that concerns everyone. We believe this is the way to go and no mayor in the Algarve wants to turn back, even though there are still many doubts,” Pina said after the meeting.

He added that councils are “making an effort” to take on more responsibilities from the government, even though there is still an “important road ahead”.

“The process should not overburden council budgets,” Pina said, explaining that each council is different and that they will need time to take on these responsibilities without compromising their own financial security.

Representing the government at the meeting were Minister of State Modernisation and Public Administration, Alexandra Leitão, and Secretary of State for Decentralisation and Local Administration Jorge Botelho – a man who knows AMAL better than most, having been president of the association between 2013 and 2019.