Third of recovery plan funds contracted

  • Lusa
  • 2 September 2021

According to the Portuguese prime minister, a third of the funds provided for in the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP) have been contracted.

A third of the funds provided for in the Portuguese Recovery and Resilience Plan, more than €5 billion, have been contracted, Prime Minister António Costa said on Thursday.

The government of Portugal and the regional government of the Azores met today in Lisbon. They signed a financing contract in the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) for the Azores.

According to the prime minister, with the signing of this contract, more than €5 billion of RRP funds, the programme of European funds to respond to the crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic, has been contracted, which he considered to be a “good sign” of “collective mobilization for the implementation of this plan essential for the whole country”.

In the specific case of the Azores, António Costa highlighted the goal of “emphasising the importance” of the archipelago in a “strategic area for the future of Europe and the future of the world”, namely, “the contribution it can make in the study of climate change, the “deep sea” and “space issues”.

The prime minister said that the government decided to host the Portuguese Space Agency in the Azores and stated that it had encouraged a “set of projects” in these areas in the islands, also thinking about the development of the region’s university potential and the possibilities of “more and better jobs” in the archipelago.

Costa highlighted one project in particular, which he called “an anchor for this whole process”, the installation of a microsatellite launch port in the archipelago, “the only one that will exist in Europe and which will give a unique centrality and relevance to the Azores” and its “capacity to attract” other projects, both industrial and research.

The Portuguese RRP has an overall value of €16.6 billion, including 13.9 billion in non-refundable grants and 2.7 billion in soft loans.

The autonomous regions were allocated 5% of the RRP funds.

The secretary for Finance, Planning and Public Administration of the Azores government, Joaquim Bastos e Silva, said at the end of July that 35% of the funds earmarked for the region would go to the private economy.

Bastos e Silva said that as well as the €580 million earmarked for the region under the RRP, the Azores will receive a further €117 million that will be “earmarked” for national funds.

The regional secretary for finance also said that a protocol would be signed with the University of the Azores so that the Azorean academy can “mediate the effects on the economy” of implementing the RRP.