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The Minister of Agriculture says he has a gap of 61 million euros to solve

The Minister of Agriculture says he has a gap of 61 million euros to solve

The Agriculture Minister said on Friday, May 17, that he had a “gap of €61 million” to solve within the scope of the national irrigation plan, after the European Investment Bank (EIB) terminated the contract with the government in 2023. “It is another problem that I have to solve , which is a 61-hole hole […]

He has a “€61 million gap” to resolve within the scope of the national irrigation plan, after the European Investment Bank (EIB) terminates the contract with the government in 2023, the Agriculture Minister said on Friday, May 17.

“It's another problem I have to solve, which is a gap of 61 million euros, and what's even more dangerous is that you made investments in projects, thinking that they would be financed,” said Jose Manuel Fernandez, who was speaking at the conference. The National Olive Oil Congress, held in Valpacos, is addressed to mayors, among others.

During the initiative, the mayor of Valpacos, Antonio Medeiros, spoke about the irrigation dam in the Padrilla area, which has been demanded for a long time in the municipality of the Vila Real area.

“The mayor here is forcing me to reveal something that I had no intention of revealing in this session, but for me it was another surprise to me. The Minister said that the Chamber President believes he has a project approved by the European Investment Bank, within the scope of the National Irrigation Plan.

In total, according to the government official, there are projects worth 61 million euros under the national irrigation plan.

However, according to José Manuel Fernández, “on 21 February 2023, the EIB informed the government of its unilateral termination of the financing contract due to default by the Portuguese government.”

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“And then, to my surprise, in June 2023, for example, in a very nearby municipality, sessions were held where they were talking about financing projects for the EIB when the EIB canceled the financing contract,” he added.

He continued: “Now we will have to find a solution, but it is not easy to find a solution worth 61 million euros. What is more dangerous than this is the mistake that was committed, and after it became known that there was an end, and here the truth was not told to the municipal councils in particular.”

The proposal left a guarantee: “One thing you can count on is that I will always tell the truth, even if it is not very pleasant.”

The National Irrigation Program was announced by the PS Government and financed by the European Investment Bank.

The National Olive Oil Congress is organized by CEPAAL, in partnership with the Valpacos Chamber, within the scope of the National Olive Oil Exhibition, which takes place between Friday and Sunday.