Algarve council boss Jorge Botelho

Council boss lobbies minister over rent-a-car controversy

Algarve council boss Jorge Botelho (pictured) has waded into the rent-a-car controversy saying he is “very concerned” that it will lead to more regional unemployment and economic misery. The president of AMAL – the association of Algarve borough councils – is reported to have asked for a meeting with transport minister Sérgio Silva Monteiro in a bid to put the record straight on the enormous impact of service charges proposed by airports authority ANA – due to come into force on April 1.
Only last week Algarve MP Cristóvão Norte accused ANA of “predatory measures” in announcing the new fees, which Botelho confirmed this week “threaten the survival of around 40 Algarve companies and over 600 jobs at a time when the region has the highest unemployment in the country”.
Announcing the fees last month, ANA revealed a table of charges from €10 to €24 to be levied every time a vehicle is rented out from any airport in the country.
Talking with the Algarve’s Rent-a-Car Association (ARA), Botelho said one of his greatest concerns was that the new charges would lead to higher prices for tourists, which in turn would affect the region’s tourism sector.