‘I have never been in favour of tolls, not now not ever’

By INÊS LOPES [email protected]

Faro Mayor responded this week to attacks from the press and anti-tolls activists regarding his latest position concerning the introduction of tolls on the A22.

Macário Correia, who is also the president the Algarve Câmaras Association (AMAL), was one of the main faces in the Algarve opposing the previous PS government’s decision to implement tolls on the A22.

However, in recent weeks, the PSD politician came under attack for saying that tolls in the Algarve were “inevitable”, with several local newspapers reporting that he had changed his opinion regarding the impact of tolls on the economy to favour the new PSD government.

In a statement sent to the Algarve Resident this week, Macário Correia said: “I am being attacked for saying that the inevitability of tolls is a result of the worsening economic climate Portugal is facing.

“To say that circumstances haven’t changed recently is simply not true. This government is dealing with a worse financial situation, with the country’s public finances having clearly deteriorated of late, and I can understand its concerns.”


He continued by saying that the country’s dire finances had forced the future implementation of tolls in the Algarve and described the measure as “necessary” in the face of “grave financial circumstances”.

Tolls are now expected to be introduced in the Algarve from September, after the initial date of April 15 announced by the previous government, which halted the plans after its dissolution.

However, Macário Correia made a point of stressing that he was against the tolls now, just as he was in 2004/2005 when the subject was under discussion by the then PSD government.

“I have never been in favour of the tolls, not now not ever,” said the Faro Mayor. “So, to say that I’m swaying my opinion according to the government’s party colours is wrong. But it may have suited some people to say it.

“Several times I said this year that I didn’t believe the PSD was taking the right attitude,” said Macário Correia, who added that he had been sending the message out since 2004 that tolls in the Algarve were an “injustice” and would lead to “serious problems”.

He concluded his statement by saying that he had recognised the “obvious reasons” that led to the measure.

Faro Mayor closed his statement by saying: “Is this a condemnable act? Let’s all take responsibility.”

Do you have a view on this story? Please email Editor Inês Lopes at [email protected]