Yesterday at 7:18 p.m.
The intercommunality of the STCP – Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto was scheduled for this Sunday, but a debt of eight million euros and that the State has not yet liquidated prevents the passage of the company to the municipalities.
Even so, the mayor of Gaia, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, hopes that until next Thursday, before entering the new year, the process will move forward.
“I know that the Ministries of Finance and the Environment are working on the issue, but as long as the debt of eight million euros remains, the transition from STCP to municipalities is not viable”, explains the mayor of Gaiense, who, alongside their counterparts in Porto, Matosinhos, Gondomar, Valongo and Maia are ready for the transfer of the company, convinced that the transport offer will improve in the six counties.
Until Thursday, the state will pay the balance, “because of the drop in income from the pandemic and the increase in losses”, or the intercommunality will not occur until 2021.
“What has been agreed is to receive the business without debt. Without this condition, the municipalities cannot accept the transfer of STCP. This would create a financial problem for the municipalities and could raise a legal problem, ”says Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues.
Despite the slowness of the process, the mayor of Gaia sees a “light at the end of the tunnel”, which may appear “in the coming days, until the end of the year”.
“With the pandemic and the resulting expenses, we understand that the government has its priorities,” he said, revealing two hypotheses. “The state is paying now or a longer transition period will be created,” he said, speaking as “postponing” the transfer.
At the beginning of the month, Minister Matos Fernandes guaranteed the State the payment of the debt, amounting to 15 million euros. Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues explains that part of the amount has already been contracted, referring, among other things, to social passes. Eight million to go.