Government says Algarve is ready for a safe summer, but mayors wanted more

Security device was presented yesterday, in Faro

Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação

The Minister of Internal Administration guarantees that the Algarve “is prepared” to receive tourists safely during this summer, but the mayors wanted more. António Pina, president of AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, argues that the reinforcement of resources for the region is «short» and should go beyond the summer season, extending throughout the year.

The building of the Algarve Tourism Region, in Faro, was the stage for the traditional presentation of the “Algarve Seguro” program, which, summer after summer, aims to reinforce the region's security during the season of greater tourist influx.

The news for the summer of this year – which will be a real recovery in tourism – are not many.

As usual, there will be a reinforcement of GNR resources, with 230 daily patrols and 1000 speed checks every day, from the PSP, with the arrival of two teams from the Intervention Corps to Portimão, Lagos, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António, and the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which will have a total of 109 members during the summer.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


On the part of the National Civil Protection Authority, the fire-fighting prevention device has a total of 776 operational personnel, with five air assets ready to act in the event of a fire.

José Luís Carneiro, Minister of Internal Administration, has no doubts that the Algarve is “well prepared”.

“The security forces and services do a great job of cooperation here. It is perhaps the dimension that is worth underlining: this important spirit of cooperation to guarantee, in a region of the country that has grown in terms of population, and receives thousands of visitors, continues to be seen as safe”, he said, in statements to journalists.

For the government official, the device «allows us to say that we are prepared for the threats and challenges we are faced with».

But, he said, there are also imponderables.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


“Of course, the prediction of the allocation of means is sometimes surprised by epiphenomena: being more prepared today, but there are cases that exceed the ability to predict”, he considered.

After two years of real constraints due to the pandemic, this will be the first summer seriously 2019 since.

According to José Luís Carneiro, demand levels are even “above the peaks of 2019”, a version corroborated by João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Region, and by the mayors.

Therefore, it was from the voice of António Pina, leader of AMAL, that came the criticism of a «short» reinforcement of means for the region and that should have gone further.

«The Algarve has grown – and has grown more and more. Safety is fundamental to our tourist offer and the Government needs to understand that not only does this reinforcement have to be increased, but the Algarve is all year round”, he said, speaking to journalists.

In addition to the need to face the problem of fires «head on», creating a «professional regional battalion», the mayor of Olhão gave the GNR as an example.


José Luís Carneiro and António Pina – Photo: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação


“Villages and towns are often short-staffed. Maybe we could take some of that reinforcement on the roads, where the accident rate is already reasonable. These effectives are needed on beaches, at night and inland. The focus is not on fines.”

José Luís Carneiro, in relation to the GNR and PSP, guaranteed that more «1600» people are being hired and that, as soon as they are integrated into the respective forces, they will be «directed according to the diagnosis of needs».

Despite the criticism, António Pina, president of AMAL – Comunidade Intermunicipal do Algarve, does not fail to predict a «great summer».

“Now, we cannot drop the boy into the bath water. The Algarve is a safe region and this is part of our heritage and we always demand that these levels of safety be maintained», he concluded.


Photos: Pedro Lemos | Sul Informação