The Alto Minho Business Confederation (CEVAL) asks the government for additional economic compensation measures with the reintroduction of border control measures that will limit movement between the region and Galicia to goods and workers who have to move.
In a statement, the organization recalls that the borders of the Alto Minho are the ones that concentrate the greatest number of daily crossings, concentrating about half of the cross-border traffic, with more than 31 thousand daily vehicle crossings at the five crossing points for Spain in the region.
CEVAL supports the restrictive measures, but “fears that after the social scourge that this pandemic is already bringing to several European countries, Alto Minho will also suffer the consequences of this outbreak, fearing the economic crisis that may result from it”
“If the decision to restrict circulation at the borders seems appropriate to us in view of developments related to COVID-19, the Alto Minho Business Confederation cannot fail to fear the impact that such a measure will have in sectors such as tourism , catering, or hospitality, as well as in other sectors of business activity in case there is a need for the total closure of borders ”, he warns.
The Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, announced this Monday the reinstatement of the border control between Spain and Portugal, with the passage of only vehicles for the transportation of goods and workers who have to travel for professional reasons. There will only be nine crossing points to the neighboring country, with the rest to be closed. There will also be mechanisms for health control at crossings, in conjunction with the Spanish authorities.
CEVAL says it intends to send the Prime Minister a letter with the region's concerns “and asking for the necessary attention, given the special condition of the Alto Minho and its relationship with Galicia, in anticipation of additional compensatory measures to those recently announced by the Government of Portugal".
The organization "reaffirms its total agreement", with the measures taken, "encouraging more drastic measures, in case they are necessary to face this pandemic". But he wants “the possible negative consequences that this crisis may bring after it is mitigated to be taken care of for the good of Alto Minho and Portugal”, according to the statement.
According to the data cited by the organization, 2659 Spaniards residing in Spain work in the North of Portugal (1816 of which in Alto Minho) and 622 Portuguese residing in Portugal working in Galicia who cross the border daily. Daily, 31,190 vehicles cross the five crossing points in the region, corresponding to 47% of the total movements at the land borders between Portugal and Spain.