Lisbon Mayor reviews first 180 days in office.jpg

Lisbon Mayor reviews first 180 days in office

LISBON MAYOR Dr. Carmona Rodrigues said he was ‘generally very satisfied’ with the municipal authority’s performance over the last six months, during a recent press conference held to report on his first 180 days in office at the Câmara.

The authority has accumulated debt over many years to the tune of around 118 million euros, and the Mayor said that, due to the financial problems, the first six months of the mandate had “thrown up challenges that differed from the norm”. It is evident that the current executive board at the council is trapped in a situation, where money must be spent in order to make necessary improvements in the capital but, by going ahead, the bank balance is going further and further into the red. The expression, “Damned if I do, damned if I don’t” springs to mind.

“As laid out in our electoral programme for the next four years, we’re making a point to show that it is possible to take action straight away, instead of waiting until the eve of the next elections to do things,” he said at a meeting on May 2.

In fact, of the 309 electoral promises made on the eve of the last election, 160 have been carried out, while 36 are about to be carried out. The Câmara President affirmed that the other 113 promises had been put on hold for the present, but stated that the council had not forgotten them.

Among the promises that have been fulfilled are: the creation of 150 new police officers in Lisbon, 5,000 new resident parking places with 2,000 more in the pipeline, parking facilities made available at Sporting and Benfica stadiums and at Gare Oriente station, three urban redevelopment and regeneration programmes for neighbourhoods in Liberdade, Boavista and Padre Cruz.

In the cultural sphere, the Mayor highlighted the permanent display of the Francisco Capelo collection at the Santa Catarina Palace, and the new Lisbon Transport Museum for Arco do Cego.

Other highlights include the completion of the restoration of the Lisbon Bullring, which opens later this month, and the plan to breathe new life into the Baixa Pombalina area of Lisbon.