Ambassador visits Loulé to learn about the reality of the resident Swiss community

The ambassador was accompanied by honorary consul Thomas Kottmann

The Swiss ambassador to Portugal Denis Knobel was in Loulé this Tuesday morning, April 23rd, to learn a little more about the reality of this municipality, the municipal projects and the resident Swiss community.

The ambassador was accompanied by honorary consul Thomas Kottmann, and also visited Quarteira to participate in a conference between Swiss clubs.

Across the Algarve, 1200 Swiss citizens are registered, «but there are many others who divide their lives between Switzerland and Portugal», highlights the Loulé Chamber.

Of these, «there is a significant part with high purchasing power, owners of luxury homes and who choose the region to spend their old age, but also others who come to work» and are part of the 23% of foreigners residing in the municipality of Loulé .

«We had a very interesting exchange of ideas. We started by talking about the Swiss community and the citizens who live here. And then President Vítor Aleixo spoke about some of the projects and various initiatives linked to scientific research (ABC), as well as the Center for Active and Healthy Aging. It was important for us to understand the efforts of the Municipality of Loulé for the municipality's development», he highlighted in relation to the meeting held with Loulé officials.

The project and work of the Active and Healthy Aging Competence Center, already based and operating in Loulé, is a matter that interests us greatly in Switzerland, as a good part of our community abroad, especially in Portugal and Spain , are retired people who come to spend the end of their lives here and promoting quality of life for the elderly is something that concerns us a lot. I hope that our consul can keep us informed about this project», said Denis Knobel.

This is also the thought of Mayor Vítor Aleixo: «We are very pleased to see the Swiss representative's interest in a project that tells us a lot. I believe that we can have very positive synergies when it comes to this issue of active aging. This Center could be an important support for these older citizens».

«In Switzerland we are between mountains and valleys, Portugal heads towards the sea and the ocean… In terms of character we are very serious and calm people, but, deep down, we are two people with the same joy in life. We have another type of 'homesickness' in Switzerland", concluded the Swiss ambassador.