“Barrel-load of money” on its way to Portugal

“Barrel-load of money” on its way to Portugal – almost all of it for the poorest regions

Outgoing European Commission president Durão Barroso has been criticised for calling it a “barrel-load of money” – but the community funding that will be on its way to Portugal over the next seven years is sizeable: a cool 26 billion euros.
The money is destined to boost business growth and job creation.
According to Secretary of State for Regional Development Castro Almeida, it will also go towards social, urban and territorial cohesion.
But before businesses start rubbing their hands with glee, Castro Almeida stressed that 93% of the money will be going to “the poorest areas of the country”.
The Algarve – forever struggling for attention on Lisbon’s apron strings – is not one of these, he told RTP in interview on Saturday.
Along with the Lisbon area and Madeira, the Algarve is considered one of the “less poor” regions of the country, he explained, and thus only qualifies for 7% of the 26 billion euro funding package.
Meantime, former PSD minister of finance Manuela Ferreira Leite has poured scorn on Durão Barroso’s use of the expression “barrel-load of money”.
Barroso used the term in a speech where he said the money coming to Portugal was “concrete proof” of European solidarity. He also affirmed that he “had an important role in the size of the cheque”, reported Negocios online.
“26 billion euros is a barrel-load of money”, he declared. “That should shut those up who say the European Union isn’t supportive”.
But Ferreira Leite was unimpressed. Talking on her regular spot on TVI24, she said, whether it was a barrel-load of money or not: “It is something we don’t need to thank anyone for. There is a cake to distribute, and different countries negotiate the amount that should be attributed to them”.
What did Barroso mean by inferring it was a lot? “It’s a lot in relation to what”, she asked. “Should we deserve less?”