Regionalisation referendum

A referendum on regionalisation in Portugal is a reality for this government, according to the ruling Socialist party.

The five administrative regions proposed in the regionalisation model for the country, as well as the powers that each would have, are to be put under public scrutiny as soon as an agreement is established with the opposition social democratic party PSD, says the government.

Despite being in favour of a referendum, the PSD party has not yet pronounced itself on the matter.

Aguiar-Branco, the party’s parliamentary leader, said: “In due time, the PSD will take a stance on this subject. However, it has already announced that it is in favour of a referendum.”

The five planned regions defined in the regionalisation model for the country are based on the existing areas of the five Commissions for Regional Coordination and Development (CCDR) – CCDR Norte, CCDR Centro, CCDR LVT (Lisbon and Tagus Valley), CCDR Alentejo and CCDR Algarve. The regionalisation model would follow the current technical work being carried out by the commissions as well as include other political and administrative competences.

This is the second referendum on regionalisation, following the 1998 one which saw the Portuguese divided as to whether autonomous regions would be beneficial for a country that needs economic and political stability above all.

So far, only the right wing CDS party is opposing to the regionalisation model, with the left wing party BE and communist party PCP giving the thumbs up to the concept.

Mendes Bota, president of the region’s opposition PSD party, has always expressed his support for regionalisation in Portugal. He told the Algarve Resident: “I am happy with the government’s response, but hope to see, in concrete terms, how it intends to fulfil its promise.”