Renovating buildings could ease crisis

DOING UP run-down properties could help the government find its way out of the current economic crisis.

According to the Associação dos Industriais da Construção Civil e Obras Públicas (AICCOPN), the civil construction and public works association, which is worried about the crisis affecting the sector, the government, local authorities and other organisations could help kick-start the economy and generate thousands of jobs by renovating old buildings. The association believes that 2006 will not see a significant improvement to the overall situation, despite the 25 billion euros earmarked by the government for public works projects such as the new airport at Ota and the TGV high-speed rail link from Lisbon to Madrid and Porto.

It also recommends the necessity of pushing forward with scores of smaller, short-term construction projects since the government’s two main projects will only be up and running in 2009-2010.