PM wants to triple private investment

THE PORTUGUESE government aims to double its public investment and triple private investment in investigation, research and development by October 2009. Prime Minister José Sócrates said that the government’s objective was also to reduce the public deficit by 2.8 per cent and achieve an annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent, while increasing employment by 69 per cent.

The ambitious figures were unveiled by the PM as part of the government’s National Action Programme for Growth and Employment 2005-2008, which he presented last week.

The programme sets out seven key policies and 125 measures, which include reforming public administration, reducing government bureaucracy, raising employee qualifications, building a new airport at Ota and constructing a new high-speed rail link between Lisbon and Madrid, and Lisbon and Porto.

In his speech, Sócrates stressed that the shift towards modernisation depended on all of society, and not just the government, which should try to create the right conditions for change.