Portimão on tenterhooks waiting for €133 million loans

One of the country’s most financially-strapped councils, Portimão is on tenterhooks waiting for €133 million in loan money.
Staying afloat, says the town’s Mayor Isilda Gomes, is “extremely difficult” and “no mistakes can be made” along the way.
With an eye-popping €160 million worth of debt, Portimão is the only Algarve council left waiting for vital loan money. All the others that signed up for PAEL funding – aimed at helping municipal authorities to settle outstanding debts – have received it, but Portimão, with its abysmal record for paying creditors, has been left cap in hand.
In an official statement, Gomes reveals that the last three questions the council needs to answer for funding are being dealt with now and, with any luck, loan money will be on its way soon.
Meantime, even the smallest expense has to be subjected to “a great deal of ponderation and rigour”.
According to the government’s local authorities department (Direção-Geral das Autarquias Locais, or DGAL), Portimão was the municipality that took the longest to pay its suppliers in 2012, as they had to wait an average of two-and-a-half years to be paid.