The Algarve is definitely a prosperous region of Portugal. However, it is about a 3-hour drive from the capital and, consequently, from the main industries. With an economy centred mainly on the tourism sector, the Government is now taking some measures to make the region a centre of progress.

Therefore, the Government had the meeting of the Council of Ministers in Faro during the second edition of the "Governo Mais Próximo", which took place between 1 and 2 March, with a programme of more than 60 initiatives in all the municipalities of the Faro district, with the presence of several ministers and secretaries of State. In this article, we will present some of the most important measures for the Algarve that came from it.


The Algarve will now once again have a regional branch of the National Institute of Medical Emergency (INEM), which means it will improve its emergency rescue capacity.

Manuel Pizarro, health minister, said that the INEM operates, in the Algarve, 42 emergency vehicles to help the population.

"The Council of Ministers approved a decree-law that amends the INEM law and that makes the INEM win back, in the Algarve, its regional delegation," said Manuel Pizarro, for whom this decision is "very important, from an operational point of view".

"It is the only region in the country that is faced with the regular attendance of a population of about half a million inhabitants, but that, in many moments, is more than double, which requires a local capacity of coordination, direction and articulation," he said.

In addition, there are plans for a new hospital in the Algarve, which will be called Algarve Central Hospital and will be located in the middle of the two current public hospitals, meaning between Portimão and Faro.

To this end, the Government said that a team will be set up to work on this project, with the hope that more details will be released very soon.


The future tram between the Algarve cities of Olhão, Faro and Loulé will benefit 185,000 people, around 40 percent of the Algarve population.

"This is a very special project between three municipalities that, being neighbours, are in practice a huge distance apart if not properly managed, said the Prime Minister, António Costa, in Olhão, where he went to attend the presentation included in the roadmap of the "Governo Mais Próximo" initiative.

The tram between Olhão, Faro and Loulé will be 38 km long and have 24 stops, serving around 185,000 residents in the three municipalities (40 percent of the Algarve's population), of which 70,000 live within 600 metres of a stop.

As for the costs, this investment could be up to €300 million. However, there are two options on the table. The tram could be an electric vehicle or supported by hydrogen. With this, the Prime Minister hopes to support the eco-economy of the region.

The future line will pass three railway stations (Parque das Cidades, Bom João and Olhão) and "fundamental" equipment and services in the region, such as the airport (nine million passengers, 5,000 workers) and the Gambelas centre of the University of the Algarve (5.3 thousand students).

According to the previous study, around 40,000 trips per day could be made, with possible extensions of the line to Albufeira and Fuzeta being considered.

"I am aware that it is not always easy for municipalities to work together, especially on a project that does not specifically serve any one of them, but which only makes perfect sense if all three are served together," António Costa concluded.

More security for Lagoa

The Council of Ministers approved the creation and institution of the Municipal Police in Lagoa municipality.

According to what was announced by the Câmara de Lagoa, the future Municipal Police will have a total of 26 elements (commander, coordinator and 24 officers) and will have competencies in the areas of environmental protection, commercial establishments, occupation of public space, traffic and parking, advertising and monitoring of sports and cultural events.


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins