quotIt costs over 4 million eurosquot Storm on the altar

"It costs over 4 million euros". Storm on the altar for Pope Francis

They cause controversy Portugal the details of the costs for the World Youth Daythe event, which takes place in August a Lisbon. In particular, public opinion was literally divided when the cost of the altar to be built for the closing mass is built Pope Francis. In fact, the works will entail a cost of four million two hundred thousand euros.

The project for the stage that Bergoglio will host

World Youth Day is one of the most important events today, not only on a religious level, but also on an organizational level in general. In fact, it generates a flow of people towards an area comparable to any major sporting event or trade fair, which is why the host city must be able to equip itself with important infrastructures.

In Panama City in 2019, during the last edition of World Youth Day, Lisbon was announced as the host city of the 2022 edition. Pandemic He postponed the plans and so it was decided to move the event to next August.

The most important phase of the program is scheduled for Sunday, August 6, when Pope Francis will celebrate the closing Mass in front of the young participants. The organizers have chosen a large open space on the banks of the River Tagus north of as the venue Parque de Nações. This is where the stage, which will cost more than four million euros, will be built.

Many citizens wondered whether it is really worth spending so much money on an altar, especially in times of crisis. The Mayor of Lisbon Carlos Modasbut he defended himself. It is not a stage that can be dismantled, he told journalists who have been harassing him in recent days. Nor is it a work destined to be abandoned after the event. On the contrary, the stage is an integral part of a series of works destined to remain after August 6th.

Therefore, the planned expenditure totals include the works for the construction of green areas and premises for the public. The aim is retrain an area of ​​Lisbon that is considered to be in danger of being degraded and is being upgraded thanks to investments for World Youth Day. A bit like the nearby Parque de Nacoes after Expo 1998.

For this reason it was the President of the Republic himself Marcelo Rebelo de Sousato defend the investment. In particular, the head of state reiterated the goodness of the project and the desire to leave the capital as a rehabilitated area after the August event.

The reason for the controversy

However, many citizens are not there. On social media the controversy it didn’t go out. What heated the mood was above all the way in which the orders were placed. There was, as many local newspapers emphasized, no tender and no real tender.

The clients awarded the construction work to the company by private contract Mota-Engil, the most important Portuguese construction giant. A circumstance that caused perplexity, especially due to the high project sum. Hence the suspicion of unclear and unclear maneuvers by public institutions. After all, as the local press repeatedly reported, the Finance Act of 2023 in particular granted the possibility of private assignment in exceptional cases, even for large amounts.

Among the critics of the World Youth Day project there are those who have also underlined the difference with the investment made for the visit Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. At that time, the municipality only spent three hundred thousand euros. However, it must be said that in this case it was not a question of a visit taking place in the context of an event such as Youth Day. The difference however, and not a little, envisaged.