Regionalisation a good idea

Dear Editor,

I was glad to read in last week’s edition that the topic of regionalisation has not been totally forgotten.

I’ve always been a strong supporter of the decentralisation of powers. Though there are a few MPs from the Algarve in Parliament, they aren’t able to bring enough attention to the region’s main issues.

If there was a leading authority in the Algarve, wouldn’t it be more likely that situations like the A22 tolls or the Ria Formosa demolitions would have already been solved?

The problem is that most of the time the only way these matters make it to Parliament is through petitions or citizens’ initiatives, and in these two specific cases – especially the fight against the motorway tolls – little to no progress has been made.

There isn’t a single body that can represent the Algarve as the whole. There are entities like AMAL – the municipalities association – which rarely are able to take a strong stand on the Algarve’s main issues (apart from the region’s oil plans recently).

I don’t think that decentralising powers would divide Portugal in any way – quite the opposite.

I believe people would be happier and more things would get done if local communities had a smaller authority that they could count on, instead of waiting for someone in Lisbon to remember the Algarve outside of July and August.

I honestly feel it’s time for a more serious debate about this.

Michael Lane