Portimão council – one of Portugal’s most indebted – is finally going to receive around €137 million after its bid for much-needed funding was approved last Friday (April 1).
The loan will be granted via the municipal support fund FAM (Fundo de Apoio Municipal), which gave Portimão a thumbs up after “more than a year of intense work and negotiations”.
“This is excellent news for Portimão, but also for our creditors and the Algarve’s economy,” Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes told regional news website Sulinformação.
The FAM funding plan still has to be approved by the council and municipal assembly, which should be just a formality. The final green light should be granted by “mid April”, says Gomes.
In order to receive the FAM money, Portimão council will have to follow its municipal adjustment plan (PAM) which limits what can be done in the municipality for the next 25 years.
Though investments will be reduced to a minimum, the good news is that the loan will allow the council to start paying off most of its debts.
Around “€36 million” has already been paid off to banks and small companies, Gomes revealed.
While the mayoress admits caution is needed when managing the council’s accounts, it has been able to carry out “some investments, like the repaving of roads”.
“We don’t have a lot of money, but if we’re careful, there are some investments that can be made,” she said.