A young Portuguese politician standing for election to the Lagos municipal council has made a rousing appeal for the support of the foreign expat vote in a sometimes highly critical and controversial pre-election statement.
Paulo Rosário, an independent candidate, claimed that Lagos is in “deep need of political reform” and outlined a series of measures that could be implemented to maintain its status as one of the Algarve’s most popular tourist destinations and locations for foreign property investors.
He pointed out that there are many European expats who have made Lagos their home and political decisions need to be introduced to make them feel an integral part of the community.
Some of the measures he has pledged if voted into office include the establishment of English as the second official language in Lagos, so that all main documents will be written both in Portuguese and English.
Also on the agenda are a support office for expats, foreign visitors and investors, a decrease in local IMI taxes for recently acquired property (especially pensioners), defence of animal rights, opposition to the current motorway tolls system, assisting local charity organisations by classifying their activities as in the town’s interests, and challenging current tax policies.
“Lagos is no different to many small towns located all over Europe or all over the world. Like them, we are also facing many new challenges.” he said. “Severe financial, economic and social crises as never seen before are upon us, affecting our living standards and threatening our dignity and survival. We can choose to do nothing and hide our heads in the sand and hope that it will go away, or we can act.”
He argued that in order to reverse the negative course that Lagos is taking, “competent, ethical and courageous action” was needed.
Foreign residents in Portugal can vote in the local elections – find out how on page 10.