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Horta ,  September 11, 2019

Cooperation between Regional and National Governments has led to significant improvements in the Azores, says Berto Messias

The Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for Parliamentary Affairs highlighted at the Legislative Assembly in Horta the cooperation between the Regional and National Governments, which "has led to significant improvements in the Azores over the last four years."
Berto Messias spoke in the context of a debate proposed by PS (Socialist Party) about the impact of the policies pursued by the National Government on the Region, taking stock of the cooperation and understanding between both governments in the last four years. On the occasion, he highlighted “very significant improvements in matters of paramount importance for the present and future of our Region,” which is "in stark contrast to the relations established with the former National Government between 2011 and 2015.”
In this regard, he government official mentioned the “scrupulous compliance with the Regional Finance Act, which allowed the Azores to benefit for the first time from the proceeds of the state games run by Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Lisbon, or the increase of social support for Terceira Island, which was facing a very difficult situation due to the economic impacts arising from U.S. military downsizing at Lajes Base."
“I cannot forget to mention the strategy underpinning the creation and implementation of AIR Centre, Terceira Tech Island, the efforts to promote Terceira Island as a tourist destination abroad or the operation of a low cost airline on the island of Terceira. These measures stem from the understanding and commitment of the Regional and National Government," stated Berto Bessias.
The Regional Secretary also recalled that "this National Government was the one that took practical steps towards the construction of a new prison establishment in Ponta Delgada for the first time in decades; the works for the removal of lapilli from the site are due to begin soon."
In this speech, he also recalled the "reinforcement of security forces officers in the Region” in the last four years as well as a “significant investment in various police stations, namely in São Roque do Pico, Santa Cruz das Flores, Velas, Lajes das Flores and in Horta Police Department, besides the investments under way in other police stations.”
As regards the runway of Horta Airport, Berto Messias recalled that the former Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho, announced that its expansion "was not a priority and was not to be carried out." Notwithstanding this decision, the investment has been included in the National Investment Plan as well as the investment in the so-called RESA (runway end safety area); the latter will be carried out shortly."
Berto Messias also mentioned the “investment in the Region's space cluster,” a partnership between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and the Regional Secretariat for the Sea Science and Technology. Moreover, he highlighted the investment in Justice services, through the creation of the Penal Court on São Miguel Island and the new Family and Juvenile Court in Praia da Vitória.”
"These improvements towards the resolution of relevant matters that had long been forgotten are perfectly obvious to anyone who does not keep their eyes closed by reason of political blindness," noted the government official.
As for the Social Mobility Aid, Berto Messias stated that “despite the unabashed attacks on the Prime Minister, stemming from pre-election period, it turns out that the PSD/ Açores (Social Democratic Party) has agreed with the President of the Government's recent statements. Indeed, there are issues that cannot be called into question in the evaluation and revision of the Social Mobility Aid, such as the mobility of the Azoreans or the burdening of residents on air fare costs."
The government official regretted that PSD/Açores, which is “facing a period of deep internal crisis,” now "calls for vote on candidate Rui Rio," who said "three months ago that the Azores were worth 12 thousand votes and that was not even quite relevant.”
Berto Messias accused PSD of “trying to rewrite history” by now "staging great outrage due to the fact that some matters have not progressed in the last four years.” In this regard, he noted that when PSD led the National Government between 2011 and 2015 “failed to address these matters, overlooking them."
The Regional Secretary stressed the need to have "an Azorean agenda in national affairs" because "despite all the progresses in favour of the Azores over the last four years, there are still many issues that need to be solved."
"It is essential that all parties can commit themselves towards the consolidation of an Azorean agenda in the National Government, which, regardless of our differences, should never overlook that the Autonomous Region of the Azores will be always above all party interests," stressed the government official.
"On the part of the Regional Government, we will remain committed to continue cooperating and to find solutions for the future of our Region," said Berto Messias.


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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