Câmaras reduce debts

This year, the total combined budget for all the freguesias in the Algarve is just under 2.5 million euros. Quarteira received the biggest slice of the cake with a total budget of 364,000 euros, followed by Almancil (246,166 euros), Alte (223,413 euros), Ameixial (217, 849 euros), Benafim (133,110 euros), Boliqueime (196,161 euros) and Querença (105,352 euros).

In total, the budget for 2004 represents an increase of 31.5 per cent compared to last year. In another piece of good news, it would appear that municipal debts are gradually declining. In 2002, the total amount owed by the region’s local authorities stood at 15,123,785,61 euros, while last year it fell to 10,500,000 euros.

Speaking as the figures were revealed, Loulé Câmara President Seruca Emídio conceded that the amount of debt is a very important issue, but mentioned the existence of mitigating circumstances. In particular, he views projects such as the Parque das Cidades venture as one of the most important constructions undertaken by his câmara, even though it has compromised its finances somewhat. “I think it’s an absolute miracle to undertake all these projects, reduce our debts and also fully honour our promises regarding Parque das Cidades,” he said.