The prime minister today asked the Portuguese to wear reusable masks made in Portugal, thus allowing them to simultaneously protect their health, the environment and jobs in national companies.
António Costa was speaking to journalists in São Bento, after having received in audience representatives of associations from the textile and clothing sectors, who offered him a box with copies of some of the approximately 2500 models of community masks already certified and which were produced by Portuguese companies.
«The use of a mask is essential. And the use of the reusable mask produced by the Portuguese industry achieves three in one. Being reusable, it is environmentally friendly, it protects us against the pandemic, but it also protects the jobs of those who work in textile industry companies», he justified.
António Costa stressed that the acquisition of national masks “protects the environment, protects health and employment”.
“Let's use these masks. There is something for all tastes and shapes. Some more colorful, others more sober, some with more design, others with less design, but they all protect us against covid-19, they all protect our economy and the environment,” he added.
With the president of the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association, Mário Jorge Machado, at his side, the prime minister, in his brief intervention, began by thanking «the enormous effort to readaptation to the new reality» of this national productive sector throughout the months of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are facing a very harsh reality of market failure and sometimes supplier failure. But [the sector] managed to reinvent itself, producing something that is now absolutely indispensable to the daily lives of citizens: The masks and personal protective equipment for professionals in the health sector, or in other sectors where these same equipment are vital. », said António Costa.
The prime minister then recounted an episode he observed at the negotiating marathon of the last European Council, in July, in Brussels, which lasted five days, but in which member states managed to reach an agreement on the 2021/2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and of the Recovery and Resilience Program.
"In this marathon, the first point on which a great consensus was possible was on the enormous quality of the masks produced by the Portuguese industry," he said.
Before starting the work of this European Council, António Costa offered masks made in Portugal to the heads of state and government of other countries of the European Union.
The president of the Portuguese Textile and Clothing Association, who spoke on behalf of various entities representing the sector, thanked António Costa for offering masks to his European counterparts.
“We, the textile sector, understand that we should reciprocate this gesture. We brought some masks to show what the textile sector has been doing in terms of innovation capacity, adaptation and speed in the development of this range of products. I think they contributed to helping our health system», declared Mário Jorge Machado.
This businessman later referred that the textile industries "are going through a difficult phase in terms of economy and orders" and that all these companies are looking for alternatives to overcome the crisis.
“More than 2500 models of different masks were approved. There was great solidarity from the companies», he added.