The Government of the Azores has approved a resolution that exempts cargo ships operated by national shipowners that are exclusively used to transport goods to the island of Flores from tariffs, the Undersecretary of the Presidency said today.
According to Pedro Faria e Castro, the Azorean government (PSD/CDS-PP/PPM) decided to “approve the resolution authorizing the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructure to approve the exemption of port use tariffs, applicable to ships and cargo, for ships exclusively used to transport goods to the island of Flores, operating by national shipowners”.
He recalled that, by resolution of March 24, the Council of Government had authorized “the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Mobility and Infrastructures to approve the exemption of fees for the use of the port by ships exclusively assigned to the transport of goods to the island of Flores, operating by national shipowners, as well as by ships of local traffic shipowners on voyages to the islands of Flores and Corvo, both at the port of origin and at the port of destination.”
Pedro Faria e Castro, who was speaking to journalists at the Conceição Palace in Ponta Delgada during the presentation of the deliberations of the Government Council, which met on Thursday in Angra do Heroísmo (Terceira), said that the decision “provides for the possibility of extending the aforementioned exemptions for as long as the constraints on the operational conditions of the port of Lajes das Flores continue”.
According to the Azorean government, “it is expected that these constraints will continue until the contract for the rehabilitation of the jetty at the port of Lajes das Flores is completed, which is expected to be launched in the last quarter of 2023, with a maximum execution time of three years”.
“Given that the harmful effects caused by Hurricane Lorenzo on the economy of the island of Flores still persist, aggravated by the passage of the Efrain depression, it is justified to continue the exceptional measures aimed at restoring normal supply conditions to the island, as well as those aimed at mitigating the impacts on its economy, resulting from the restrictions on the port’s operating conditions,” it reads.
The Regional Government of the Azores, led by José Manuel Boleiro, also approved a resolution to revoke the resolution of the Council of Government of April 5 and instructs the Regional Land Transport Fund to grant support for the benefit of passengers, with a view to providing a pass known as the “Free Social Pass”.
“Government Council Resolution no. 57/2023, of April 5, 2023, created the Free Social Pass, with the simultaneous purpose of supporting households with an average income in the first and second brackets of the Personal Income Tax (IRS) in a basic need, mobility, and, at the same time, encouraging the use of public transport as a privileged means of internal accessibility, with the aim of reversing the existing trend of increased use of personal vehicles,” the government recalled.
The Azorean executive also approved the proposal for a regional legislative decree “which aims to approve the legal regime for the special career of workers in public service in the regional slaughter network of the Autonomous Region of the Azores and the rules for their repositioning”.
Pedro Faria e Castro pointed out that, “unlike in mainland Portugal, where slaughterhouses are operated by private entities, regional slaughterhouses are public services”.