Socialist MPs call for “compromise and convergence”
It is time to let bygones be bygones – at least when it comes to the Algarve Central Hospital.
This is the main message defended in an open letter from Algarve MPs for the ruling Socialist party PS – Jamila Madeira, Luís Graça, Jorge Botelho, Isabel Guerreiro and Francisco Oliveira – to opposition PSD Algarve MPs.
In the letter, the socialists call for “compromise and convergence” between the two parties regarding the project to build a new central hospital in the Algarve, which they say has always been backed by a “large regional consensus”.
While the socialist MPs recognise that PS and PSD have different views on “multiple social and economic topics”, they have “always maintained an important political convergence” regarding the project’s importance and its location.
This ability to compromise and work together is described as “decisive” for a “cohesive society”.
While the Portuguese government approved last month the launch a new public-private partnership (PPP) to bring the hospital to life, as well as the end of the previous PPP deal, the feedback from PSD has been far from celebratory.
Cristóvão Norte, the president of PSD Algarve, has “lamented the time that was lost”, while Albufeira mayor José Carlos Rolo (PSD) has called for the hospital’s location to be changed to Albufeira.
Socialist MP Luís Graça says it is “dangerous” to start a “debate about its location just as the government has decided to move forward with the process”.
The letter stresses that “all political forces in the region have, since 2005, defended and demanded this health infrastructure, assuming that its location would respect the agreement achieved between the municipalities of Faro and Loulé, which granted land for free at Parque das Cidades (near the Algarve Stadium).
Luís Graça also says the Algarve should avoid the same doubts that Lisbon has faced over the location of its new airport. “We in the Algarve want and know where to build our new hospital,” he says.
PSD Algarve has welcomed the idea of working together towards the same goals, adding that the list of regional agreements should be extended to include other key issues, such as the reduction of toll prices on the A22 motorway, the renovation of the EN125 road and the fight against drought.
It adds, however, that it will wait to see the outcome of the PS Algarve elections, which will take place in two weeks, before reaching any kind of agreement which could be jeopardised by a potential new regional Socialist leadership.