Municipalities still owe €344 million for water: VRSA being “among top three” bad payers

The seemingly endless headache of trying to reduce council water debts continues with no ‘quick fix’ on the horizon.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã reports that despite clawing back an average of €120,000 per day in money owed last year, Águas de Portugal still has €344 million owing to it – the largest amounts from councils that simply refuse to pay up.

The worst payers claim their bills are wrong, says CM. The situation is further complicated by court actions.

Among the top three ‘worst payers’ is the Algarve council of Vila Real de Santo António.

Outgoing mayor Luís Gomes rejects the municipal debt set at €19,550,7222, says CM, saying it has been ‘created’ by the unfair practice of Águas do Algarve in charging minimum amounts, irrespective of whether households consume water or not.

Guarda is Public Enemy No 1 for its debt. The amount: €25, 785,757 is “not recognised” by an administration described as “waiting” for the chance to “negotiate”.

Fundão comes next in a list of over 50 councils each owing over €2 million. The northern municipality has put its ‘bill’ for €24 million in court, and is thus paying nothing for the time being, says CM – stressing that some court actions have already been ‘stuck in courts’ for 10 years.

[email protected]