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Antunes, Pedro

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i - Portugal | 02/04/2012

Protest against municipal reform in Portugal

Around 200,000 Portuguese protested in Lisbon on Saturday against government plans to reduce the number of municipalities. But to concentrate on the number of municipalities alone is the wrong approach, writes the daily iOnline: "We have 4,260 municipalities. These provide a number of services that we consider relevant for the population. By merging certain municipalities some of these services will disappear or their quality will be reduced, the people (or in other words the representatives of the municipalities) contend. This is only true for the interior of the country, many journalists, commentators and politicians say. It's strange that no one seems to have noticed that this is the wrong approach entirely: the problem is not the number of municipalities. What matters is above all the following questions: How high are the costs for the 4,260 municipalities? How many other services could the municipalities provide if they were sensibly structured? Wouldn't the population be better off with a more sustainable and concentrated structure?" 

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