“We do not want this region to be a dormitory for the city of Lisbon” – Finance Minister
Finance minister Fernando Medina announced on Wednesday that the state will pay for soil decontamination along the south bank of River Tagus in a bid to help local councils and “unblock major urban redevelopment plans”.
The announcement was made during a session in Barreiro, on the first of two days of the initiative “Closer Government” (Governo+Próximo) dedicated to the district of Setúbal. The government initiative aims to bring political decision-makers closer to the people.
In his speech, Fernando Medina said that today’s Council of Ministers meeting, taking place in Setúbal, will approve a resolution that marks “the start of the concrete and central aspects for the redevelopment” of the Setúbal Peninsula.
“We do not want this region to be a dormitory for the city of Lisbon, but rather a centre for highly qualified jobs, capable of providing better salaries, life opportunities for young people and that is a benchmark for quality of life in modern urban areas – an indispensable condition for competitiveness,” said Medina.
Fernando Medina said today’s meeting will establish the “full commitment by the State, through the Environmental Fund and the State Budget, of financing soil decontamination” in districts on the south bank of the Tagus River.
The project will be developed in partnership with entities from the environment ministry.
The finance minister then referred to a number of ownership changes, which will make it possible to incorporate industrial, retail and service areas, with a view to implementing the redevelopment strategy for the southern riverside area.
“Plans for the main public investments in the area will also now move forward. That is, the realisation of old ambitions such as the [Barreiro] bridges that will improve mobility in this region, the expansion of the south Tejo metro and the riverside lane connecting Alcochete to Almada – a project that will increase quality of life,” he stressed.
Attending the session were local mayors, as well as the ministers for the environment, Duarte Cordeiro, for housing, Marina Gonçalves, and for territorial cohesion, Ana Abrunhosa.
Fernando Medina also spoke of the redevelopment of Barreiro’s river station, recalling that when he was mayor of Lisbon, he did the same “on the other side of the Tagus”, at Terreiro do Paço.
“We want this to be an area for new businesses, new activities, affordable housing and that can bring stability to the population,” he added.