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Quickies from issue January 27

Dear Editor,

1) Of course the Algarve should be bilingual. Why are we so far behind Europe, our competitors? Most of our tourists, and those wanting to buy property here, speak English and that is NOT including the British. Ask any estate agent, and why we need more buyers, income. But full marks to the open, realistic and sensible comment of Catarina Rocha: without a doubt tourists are our bread and butter.

2) Full marks to the RC church for now having a tourist website, but why, like so many Portuguese sites, in Portuguese only? Including, unbelievably, the group asking for support in opposing the A22 tolling. Ask the hotels, tourist board etc. where our tourists come from.

3) So Silves Câmara wants to build on Praia da Grande: for money, to ruin it and what about environment, habitat concerns, the bird reserve?

4) Unemployment up: look around, cafés etc. closing. Tolls with mind blowing complexities which hire car owners still don’t understand. And our politicians, government? And bureaucracy, the bind of everything in Portugal?

5) So the government wants to remove some Juntas de Freguesias. How much better to let all Juntas de Freguesias do more locally, for their community and, instead, cut expensive, bureaucratic, wasteful and uncooperative Câmaras? There because of party politics, keeping Presidents sweet, paid?

6) Yes, free labour laws, but will bosses also suffer lower wages, pensions and perks, or will it be like UK. 47% increase in salary (for many CE etc.) over the last five years; and of, course, banker’s bonuses!

7) Of course the majority (small) of Portuguese are not in favour of democracy. Less need to think, politicians?

D TAYLOR-SMITH, by email