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Horta ,  November 24, 2013

New vessels for Central Group islands are key factor in "peaceful revolution" in maritime transport, says Vasco Cordeiro

The President of the Government assured today that the two new vessels for the transport of passengers and vehicles, which will enter into operation on the Central Group islands in the beginning of next year, are a key factor in the "peaceful revolution" in regional maritime transport.

The construction of these two new vessels - “Mestre Simão” e “Gilberto Mariano” – "was not a political option that will end by the time the vessels enter into operation," stressed Vasco Cordeiro. The government official assured that this investment is important in the regional economy for its potential in the generation of wealth and the creation of jobs.

The President of the Government spoke in Horta during the blessing ceremony and public presentation of the vessels "Mestre Simão" and "Gilberto Mariano." Both vessels represent a total investment of about 18.5 million Euros.

According to Vasco Cordeiro, the Government considers that the construction of these vessels provides a response to the "true nature of the connection" between Faial, Pico and São Jorge as well as between all Central Group islands.

"It is also important to provide a response that meets this potential in terms of economic development through the integration of three distinctive island markets. In this context, the construction of the two vessels was considered a strategic priority," added the government official.

In his speech, the President of the Government stressed that "Mestre Simão," in addition to providing greater comfort and safety for passengers, will significantly improve the transport of patients.

"This vessel will have the capacity to transport ambulances. In this regard, the guidelines on turning this possibility into a rule, whenever there is a medical need, have been transmitted to the Regional Secretariat for Health and the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Transport. This possibility may solve an old problem concerning the dignity and respect for privacy and the well-being of patients who need to travel from one island to another to receive medical care," said Vasco Cordeiro.

In the cases when ambulance transport is not used, both vessels are properly equipped with an infirmary, which will provide better conditions that the current ones.

Additionally, Vasco Cordeiro underlined that the transport of vehicles will be available on both vessels, an innovative feature in the regular transport between these islands; it also intends to be an "investment and a pillar in the construction of an internal market with undeniable benefits for the economy" of Faial, Pico and São Jorge.

The vessels "Mestre Simão" and "Gilberto Mariano" should arrive by the end of the year. In both cases, the Government of the Azores decided to pay tribute to two important figures in the maritime transport between Pico and Faial, said 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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