The Portuguese government's attempts to restore economic stability to the country through a series of austerity measures has led to protests by leaders of Portugal's heavy industry.
The Portuguese government's attempts to restore economic stability to the country through a series of austerity measures has led to protests by leaders of Portugal's heavy industry. Two leading directors of the nationalised steel company resigned on Wednesday (18 April) over government plans to reduce the six of its investment in a new plant. And the Chairman of the oil industry says the expansion of the country's state owned oil industry is being handicapped by the absence of a government medium term economic policy.
SYNOPSIS: The Sines petro-chemical complex, one hundred and sixty kilometres south of the capital Lisbon, is one of the largest in western Europe.
The complex has been badly damaged by storms in recent months. There have been delays in repairing the damage. And there's been criticism by the Chairman of the state owned oil industry corporation Petrogal, Carlos Correa Gago, a former Foreign Minister. Mr. Correa Gago said it would be tragic if investments in the Sines complex totalling one hundred billion escudos (about two billion dollars U.S.) should be virtually wasted because of government hesitation about spending twenty or forty million dollars on repairs to the complex.
A dam wall protecting the harbour from heavy seas is essential for the future successful operation of the complex. Mr. Correa Gago said that Portugal would lose ten million dollars (US) in foreign deals if the port was not working properly before October.
However there are critics of the Sines development. A senior engineer, Sr. Luis Coimbra who has worked as a technical advisor on the environment for several former Portugese governments says the running of Sines will cost than forty million dollars (U.S.) a month from 1980 and will involve about twenty-five percent of the country's Gross National Product (GNP).