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Ponta Delgada ,  June 01, 2020

Azoreans are the winners in the fight against the pandemic, stressed the President of the Government

The President of the Government attributed the results achieved in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in recent months to the way the Azoreans responded to this challenge, which also highlighted the importance of Regional Autonomy in the response to this crisis.

"Although we are not yet completely out of this storm, there is already some evidence stemming from this fight that the circumstances have imposed on us. It mainly concerns the results that we have achieved in this first battle and the winner who clearly emerged from it. I am referring, without any doubt and, allow me, with great pride, because I am also part of it, to the Azorean People," said Vasco Cordeiro.

Speaking at the Santana Palace in Ponta Delgada, the President of the Government stressed that the favourable situation of the pandemic in the Region is "clearly due to the way the Azorean People complied with the measures, often harsh, that had to be implemented and understood the reasons on which they were based."

"Therefore, I believe it is important to highlight and praise the mobilisation and unity demonstrated in the face of a struggle, whose main goal is and will continue to be the awareness of each person as to what they should do to protect the health of all as well as the daily practice of such recommendations," said the President of the Government.

At the session marking the Azores Day, held in the cities of Horta, Ponta Delgada and Angra do Heroísmo, Vasco Cordeiro considered that the importance of Regional Autonomy is another important aspect that has emerged over the last few months.

"Autonomy is, from the outset, the condition and the instrument that materialise the Regional Health Service (SRS), which, put to the test in the harsh circumstances we are living, has proved to be up to the challenge that has arisen," noted the President of the Government.

Over the past few months, the SRS has proved to be "up to this challenge in terms of its ability of adapting to a pandemic emergency," said Vasco Cordeiro. In this context, he expressed his belief that it will also be able to respond to "all those who, in the meantime, have been unable to access the health care that they would normally have."

"Today, as in the past, it is my understanding that this fruit borne out of our Autonomy is a justifiable source of pride for all Azoreans. Saying it this way does not mean that we do not recognise that should be improved," said the President of the Government.

Vasco Cordeiro also mentioned that the SRS "is not a theoretical construction." It is composed of thousands of collaborators, who, from those who perform the most elementary functions to those who dedicate themselves to more specialised functions, build it every day with their work throughout the archipelago.

"At this time, especially on this day, I therefore want to praise the contribution of all those who make it happen," said the President of the Government.

 In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Education was another area highlighted by Vasco Cordeiro in his speech, pointing out that, in record time, teachers, non-teaching staff, students and families had to adapt themselves to new demands, new methodologies and new tools.

"To all those who make up the educational community of the Azores, I offer a heartfelt word of acknowledgement for their commitment, their effort and their dedication to adapt themselves to a new situation.

The response of Azorean schools to this pandemic situation as well as of all those who interact with them is notable, being an example of perseverance, collective commitment and resilience," stressed Vasco Cordeiro.

In his speech, the President of the Government, still on the subject of Autonomy, made a point of noting how of the Parliament, as well as all political parties, acted in this pandemic period. As he recalled, the Legislative Assembly "did not cease its primary duty of representing all Azoreans, nor did it cease its duty of supervising the Government's activity."

"Each and every political party, without any form subordination, acted with a clear awareness of the extraordinary moment we are facing. They have always providing their contribution united in the common goal, which, I believe is genuine, of overcoming this demanding challenge as a People and as a Region," said the President of the Government.

In turn, Vasco Cordeiro also alluded to what "some consider to be the limitations or inconsistencies of the instruments of Autonomy to take action in a situation like the one we have been living with the challenges it poses."

"This debate, like any debate, must be enlightening and provide the basis for improvements. But even this debate, no matter how much we have to engage in it - and I believe it should happen - must not forget that we do not discuss the weapons we have in the middle of the battle are fighting," defended the President of the Government.

"In the midst of battle, one fights. With bare hands, if necessary. For the Regional Government, the path has been quite clear for the past, the present and the future: at every moment, always do your best where you are and with what you have," defended Vasco Cordeiro.

Regarding the celebrations held this Monday, the President of the Government stated that the current context limits, but does not prevent, "quite the contrary, it impels us even more to celebrate our People and our Region."

“We do not do this by ignoring or even neglecting the many sacrifices that have been made. We do not do so by ignoring those who have left us at this time, even if not because of this time. We do not do it by ignoring the pain of those who lost their loved one, without being able to say goodbye, without being able to embrace them or without to kiss them one last time, as they would have wished."

"We evoke the Azores Day with the awareness of the many sacrifices that have been made by those who now see the normalcy of their lives disrupted and those who see their income or their professional stability threatened, after a lifetime of hard work," said the President of the Government.

"We evoke this Azores Day with the clear awareness of the sacrifices they have been made, and some are still making, namely those who wanted to return to their families and could not, and those who were suddenly prevented from leaving and had to stay.

 We evoke the Azores well aware of the fight in which we are still engaged, - yes, because this fight is not over yet! - or the tough battles that are still ahead of us," concluded Vasco Cordeiro.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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