Nelson de Souza, Minister of Planning, in an interview with Antena1 / Jornal de Negócios, said that the Government wants to have 100% of Portugal 2020 approved by the end of the year and a 50% execution. In an interview, the Minister of Planning denies that it is an electoral decision, in a year of European and legislative elections.
Nelson de Souza revealed that the ongoing approvals of cohesion funds in 2019 – not counting agriculture – will amount to a total of 5 billion euros.
In the same interview the Minister of Planning also revealed that, of the 25 billion euros of Portugal 2020, 77% have already been approved and contracted. Since in total 120,000 projects were appreciated and, without advancing numbers, the governor says that "all the processes that have entered, are following their course".
Of the different areas in progress, it considers that the greatest delays in the implementation of the PT2020 are found in regional operational programs.
Nelson Souza accuses the European Commission of having "a prejudice against public investment" and also criticizes the previous government for "accepting the restrictions imposed, harming and delaying, for example, the processes related to the school park and the highway" .
The minister also says that "it adds to this situation that the open competitions are being empty because there is no one who wants to compete". Nelson de Souza reveals that "there are contests that have been repeated twice and still have no interest."
Nevertheless, he admits that "there are complaints of delays in the dispatch of cases, and an increase in human resources is foreseen, at the disposal of IAPMEI".
The socialist government has accused Miguel Poiares Maduro, former Minister of the Government of Passos Coelho, of having had a disastrous management in the execution of the communitarian funds. The former minister defends himself. Poiares Maduro told the Observer that "Portugal was the country (together with Poland) with the best execution of funds at the end of the NSRF and the first country in Europe to mobilize European funds in the new 2014-2020 financial framework."
Miguel Poiares Maduro has said that, as regards comparisons between the NSRF and Portugal 2020, "by the end of 2015, the implementation rate in Portugal 2020 was already more than double that of seven years before in the equivalent year of execution of the QREN ", putting the official data of the European institutions on the table:" January 2016 data from the European Commission on transfers to Member States under Portugal 2020 pointed Portugal as the first Member State to absorb funds " .
Nelson Souza says now in the interview, that specifically regarding the Railroad 2020, considers that the delays that are verified are the responsibility of the operator.
The Minister of Planning said that the National Railway Plan "is a victim of the operator's own inability to develop the projects in a timely manner" to submit applications allowing a faster execution.