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Contact with foreigners is vital

Carlos Silva Gomes, Civil Governor for the Algarve, spoke exclusively to the Algarve Resident’s ELOISE WALTON about his role, his contact with the foreign community living in the Algarve and the “excellent work” of the region’s police forces.

Having taken office in August, Carlos Silva Gomes, the new government representative in the Algarve, said that he has adapted well to his new role, having been a GNR commander and later head of the previous civil governor’s office prior to his promotion.

“The transition has been made easier by the regular contact I had with the various Câmara Presidents in the region and other dignitaries,” he said, recognising that the job entails great responsibility.

Carlos Gomes says contact with foreign residents, including representatives from the different consulates across the region, has increased since he took up office.

“I have already received consular representatives in the Algarve who took the initiative of contacting me regarding specific issues,” he said.

Carlos Gomes said that he considers it extremely important for the civil government to maintain a constant dialogue and contact with the foreign residents in the region, with consulates acting as a link to these communities.

“I recently met with the CEO of the foreign residents and visitors to Portugal association (afpop) for a very fruitful exchange of ideas, during which an interest was expressed in deepening our collaboration in various areas,” he said.

As an example, Carlos Gomes said that access to bi-lingual information at public services, such as Câmaras, is improving.

“Modernisation plans for the public administration now contemplate information in various languages and many employees can speak not only English but other languages too,” he said.


In relation to the levels of security in the region, a subject that has been highlighted by the media following several reports of violent crime in recent months, Carlos Gomes said: “There are never enough policemen.

“The Algarve is considered one of the safest regions in the world and that is due to many factors, among them the excellent work carried out by our police forces.”

Carlos Gomes said that the Algarve, however, is a region with seasonal demographic fluctuations, which requires permanent attention and adaptation on the part of the security forces.

“An effort has been made to equip the Algarve with the necessary conditions to maintain adequate security levels for a region that is strategic in terms of tourism and the country’s economy,” he said.

Natural disasters

Contingency plans in the event of a natural disaster or catastrophe are also high on his list of priorities for the region.

Two emergency plans, which involve the 16 Algarve câmaras working in conjunction with the civil protection authorities and emergency services, have been drawn up following a study to assess the region’s seismic and tsunami risks. The first of these plans is due to be tested soon while the second is still being completed. “The two plans bring together all the resources available in the region and will allow us to provide an adequate response in the event of a catastrophe,” he said.

Carlos Gomes was born in Angola and has lived in the Algarve since 1990. He loves almost everything about the region, especially “the sea, the weather, people’s genuineness and the tranquillity that is still able to be enjoyed in many areas across the Algarve.”

In his spare time, Carlos Gomes enjoys being with his family and dogs, reading and gardening.

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