"Everything is prepared", everything should run smoothly, said Mr Costa today, during a visit to the WYD venue in Lisbon. Image: José Sena Goulão/ Lusa

PM downplays cost of holding WYD, points to immediate economic return

Portugal will benefit from “unimaginable projection”; “fruits of this event will continue over time” 

Portugal’s prime minister stressed on today that the World Youth Day event (WYD), which begins tomorrow in a Lisbon teeming with young visitors, will have an immediate economic return.

The PM was “downplaying the costs associated with its organisation”, writes Lusa news agency.

“The event has both a catalysing effect and an immediate return effect. Immediate return because these hundreds of thousands of people who came to Portugal for this event are people who are consuming in restaurants, in cafes, are staying in hotels, are using our means of transport and, perhaps, will buy something else“, said António Costa during a visit to the WYD venue.

In addition to this immediate economic return – and the transformation of the swathe of riverside for the five-day event – the leader of the executive also pointed out the recognition and “unimaginable projection” that the country will have through the dissemination, by different media, “of the beauty, potential and organisational capacity” of the country.

“Events of this nature give an unimaginable projection to the country that is not immediately reflected in the accounts of the year itself,” he stressed.

According to Mr Costa, “the fruits of this event will continue over time.

Asked about the costs associated with WYD’s organisation, the prime minister said that “each thing has its cost and its benefit” and, in this case, it is “a whole asset that remains for the future”.

Saying that there has never been any major event “where discussions and controversies have not been the same”, the prime minister clarified that “every day the State and Portuguese municipalities channel funds to meet multiple needs.

For this reason, he said, the financial effort of municipalities and the State for the realisation of WYD has been “large, but it does not compare with what are the investments in other needs”.

As an example, the prime minister pointed to the millions of euros that Lisbon city council makes available for urban hygiene or that the State invests in the national health service (SNS)…

“I honestly think it takes a lot of imagination to look for problems where we should see satisfaction,” he said.

In addition, António Costa highlighted the redevelopment of the riverside, namely the parks where ceremonies of the event will take place, which the public will be able to enjoy into the future.

Therefore, the investment made in the rehabilitation of the area “is not just for an event for six days”, but for the years to come, he concluded.

Today was a day for the prime minister to visit various entities reponsible for logistics over the coming days. His overriding message being, ‘everything is prepared/ everything should run smoothly’.

Source: Lusa