Businesses closed in Portimão’s Praça Manuel Teixeira Gomes Photo: INÊS LOPES/OPEN MEDIA GROUP

Algarve’s economic situation “five or six times worse” than Portugal’s average

An Algarve business association has called on the government to implement urgent measures to help the region overcome the devastating effects of the pandemic – and has warned that the economic situation is “five or six times more serious” than the average in Portugal and the worst of the European Union.

Algfuturo (also known as União Empresarial do Algarve) says the Algarve has been hit harder than any other region in Portugal and is facing an “extremely serious economic collapse”.

Thus, the association has come up with a plan that it intends to present to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the government and the presidents of the European Commission and Parliament.

It adds that the failure to bring the pandemic under control has created a feeling of “generalised panic”, which has prompted Algfuturo to pressure the government into responding to the growing number of companies going bankrupt, people losing their jobs and even going hungry.

Algfuturo also accuses the government of ‘keeping quiet’ about the region’s struggles in order to “later say that they never thought the situation was as serious as it was”.

While some predicted that Easter could mark the start of the Algarve’s tourism recovery, forecasts are suggesting that the upcoming holiday season is now “more and more at risk”.

Summer is also due to be another “difficult period” due to the lasting effects of the pandemic.

Thus, Algfuturo has come up with a series of measures to boost the region’s economy.

Among them is the construction of the long-promised Central Hospital, the end of motorway tolls, a ban on the construction of large retail establishments for six years, the creation of promotional campaigns, the suspension of offshore fish farming projects which affect local fishermen and the start of revitalisation projects for “low-density areas.”

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