Government to inject millions in modernisation bid

THE PORTUGUESE government is to spend 25 million euros, over the next four years, in key industrial and public sector areas.

Economics Minister, Manuel Pinho, a former financial analyst for Banco Espírito Santo, has promised to inject 20 million euros of the cash into projects of “special national interest”, such as energy, health, the environment and transport. The remaining five million euros would be pumped into a 15,000 job creation scheme in high and new technology areas.

The minister outlined his vision for Portugal’s future in a document entitled ‘A more modern Portugal in just over four years’, at a recent conference.

According to Manuel Pinho, what is needed is a “shot in the arm” to kick-start the economy in a country that can no longer count on substantial financial investment from abroad. He said that petrol prices were continuing to rise, the EU had got larger and would get even larger, while maintaining that the key to economic growth was modernisation and innovation.

Manuel Pinho reaffirmed the government’s objective of ploughing its energies into technology as the only chance Portugal had of growing and not lagging farther behind its competitors and neighbours. The minister even famously said that Portugal was lagging behind Tunisia!

Pinho also made references to government plans to help small and medium-sized companies. C.G.