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Costa promises “more powers to borough mayors”

With the welcome news in the Algarve that pro-active Olhão mayor has a key role on the board of Sociedade Polis – the entity that up till now has been gunning for the demolition of Ria Formosa islanders’ homes – prime minister António Costa has intimated that mayors nationally are due to receive more powers in 2017.

Opening the national convention celebrating “40 years of local power” over the weekend, Costa said his government’s 2017 budget “values the autonomy” of borough councils and believes that “decentralisation” is “the most efficient solution”.

His words brought “congratulations” from president of the national association of municipalities Manuel Machado, and media reports dubbed the exchange as a ‘ mischievous wink’ at the PSD, bearing in mind little was achieved in the way of decentralisation during the last executive.

Costa added that from 2018 the government’s plan is to allow borough mayors elected in 2017 to appoint representatives to the CCDR (commissions for coordination and regional development). The decisions should be made late in 2017, he added – bearing in mind that the country will be electing its new councils in October next year.

President Marcelo also attended the event, “praising local power as the true stage of popular politics”, wrote Correio da Manhã.

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