This weekend Portugal’s Minister for Home Affairs Miguel Macedo visited the aftermath of the tornado that tore through the Algarve counties of Lagoa and Silves, but refused to offer details about exactly what the Government would be giving in aid.
“Let’s not talk about money; it is not worth throwing figures up into the air, randomly” he told the press when asked if the Government would be footing any of the five million Euros that Silves Mayor Rogério Silva estimates it will take to fix the destruction suffered in that county.
Minister Macedo said that the situation requires “through and through measures” at the level of central government but showed reluctance in committing to details.
There is aid, he said, like what was granted after the massive fires that raged through the eastern Algarve this summer. But first, he elaborated, more work must be done on the ground, defining “priorities and carrying out exact assessments of situations.”
Silves Mayor Rogério Silva has said that the council does not have enough money to repair the city by itself.
Minister Macedo acknowledged the strength of last Friday’s freak tornado, saying “I have no doubts; it is there for all to see”, but he refused to take immediate responsibility for the aid the local populations and councils are hoping for; “Firstly, the Government’s presence, secondly, let us be as efficient and effective as we have undoubtedly been in other situations”, he said.