Prime Minister Durão Barroso has announced that he is going to invest 855 million euros in regional programmes over the next three years. “The Council of Ministers has taken the decision to bolster, to the tune of 855 million euros, the amount of public investment that will be poured into regional programmes,” he announced. The government is aiming to distribute resources evenly throughout the country, with the aim of improving basic sanitation, restructuring primary schools, urban requalification schemes and accessibility. Continued education is a priority and the government wants to reduce the number of children leaving school early. “By 2010 we want to reduce the number of nine year olds leaving school by at least half, as well as the number of children leaving school at the age of 12, which currently stands at 45 per cent,” stressed Barroso.