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Horta ,  November 23, 2010

Measures implemented in the Azores “reduce impact” of international crisis

The measures implemented by the Government of the Azores over the past two years “have reduced the impact” of the international crisis and have contributed to delay its effects in the Azores. 
This is the assessment made by the Vice-President of the Government, Sérgio Ávila, at the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday during the presentation of proposals for the Regional Annual Plan and Budget for 2011.
Therefore, the Vice-President assured that the impact and the effects of the crisis in the Azores are “mitigated,” adding that the Government believes that “we will achieve a faster economy recovery.”
According to Sérgio Ávila, after the downturn in the economic activity in 2009, the indicators for the third quarter of 2010 already indicate “the reversal of this trend,” which demonstrates that the Azores “have resumed the growth trend in all indicators of economic activity that had decreased in the previous year.” 
For the Vie-President, the positive trend currently registered has allowed the Azores to achieve “a level of economic activity similar to the one registered before the international crisis.”
Regarding the Regional Budget for next year, which estimates the allocation of financial resources in the amount of 1,117 million Euros, Sérgio Ávila assured the Azorean education and health “will always be an investment and an essential part of the costs we assume with pride and conviction.”
Hence, continued the Vice-President, all savings from the current expenditure and investments “will be totally directed” to the 20.6 million Euro reinforcement of the Regional Health System.
Under the Regional Annual Plan, with an estimated allocation of 506.6 million Euros, the Vice-President revealed that the Government will award priority status to “the support measures addressed at Azorean companies and families,” thus reinforcing the financial support in the areas with more impact on economic sustainability, competiveness and creation of employment opportunities.
In addition, the Azorean will benefit from increases in pensions and family allowances in 2011 and the Government will reinforce the allocation of resources to social support at a time when social support measures are being reduced throughout Europe.
“Some, always the same, will say it is not enough,” Sérgio Ávila admitted, adding that these “are exactly the same” who, when they governed the Azores, “have neither remembered to create the region pension supplements, family allowances, the remuneration of civil servants nor implemented any tax reduction for the Azores and subsidised the medicine costs for our elderly population.”
The Vice-President of the Government also considered that the proposal for the Regional Annual Plan and Budget for 2011 is “a contribution to the strengthening and sustainability of regional finances.” Sérgio Ávila stressed that the Azores register a level of direct debt – GDP ratio which is “seven times lower than the average of the 27 European Union countries.”
He also announced that next year the indebtedness of the Region only represents 0.9% of the regional GDP, which is seven times lower than that average of 27 EU countries, whose deficit in 2009 represented 6.8 % of the GDP.
With concern to the Public Business Sector of the Region (SPER), Sérgio Ávila assured that “its assets exceed its liabilities, thus guaranteeing the complete satisfaction of their financial burdens and responsibilities.”
Moreover, the Vice-President stated that the funding obtained by the SPER “has increased the net added value of the Region’s assets,” adding that the liabilities of the Azorean business public sector are “four times lower than the values registered in Madeira and 20 times lower than companies such as Metro, Carris or Refer.”


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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