Portugal’s most indebted council – the Algarvian borough of Portimão – appeals this week for emergency government funding to pay its €150 million worth of outstanding bills.
As the documentation requesting FAM (Fundo Apoio Municipal) is delivered to Lisbon on Wednesday, ACRAL – the Algarve’s business association – is warning any of its members owed money by the council to check to see if their debts have been included on the list of creditors.
It is simply a question of accessing the council website, explains ACRAL.
Meantime, the council is understood to be trying to negotiate with firms to which it owes more than €20,000.
According to data compiled by the local authorities’ board, Portimão remains the worst payer in the country – taking up to 1,975 days to pay its suppliers.
Portuguese newspapers vary on the extent of the municipal debt but say “most of it, almost €92 million, is owed to banks”.
The town’s current mayor Isilda Gomes inherited the debt from her predecessor Manuel da Luz, under whose auspices the town’s debt increased by €132 million between the years of 2009-2013.