The Movement for an Algarve Free of Oil (MALP) has demanded that the Minister of the Sea and the Minister of the Environment both resign, or be sacked.
MALP today called for the dismissal of Ana Paula Vitorino and João Matos Fernandes, for promoting oil exploration in Portugal "against the will of the people."
MALP considers that the Minister of the Environment, João Matos Fernandes, and the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, cannot continue in their positions and that, due to the serious nature of their roles and public positions, both must present their immediate resignation.
The statement by MALP was issued after learning that Ana Paula Vitorino was in the United States last September, to "promote and stimulate the exploration of oil in the Algarve and Alentejo," despite a public consultation producing 42,000 signatories who opposed the drilling of a test well in the ocean off Aljezur on the west coast of the Algarve.
MALP considered that Minister João Matos Fernandes also should resign because he publicly has stated said that it would be "normal" for Portugal to move towards an oil economy. This is at the same time that the government is trying to get its message across that it is doing its best to scrap the oil concession contracts.
"Portugal can not have an environment minister who considers 'normal' the exploitation of oil resources in Portuguese territory and a minister of the sea who opens a public consultation for citizens to decide about the drilling contract off Aljezur and at the same time is out and about selling Portugal as an oil investment," states MALP.
"Discontent" and "deep regret" are the sentiments expressed by MALP whose opinion is that Ana Paula Vitorino was shameless in selling the country to foeign oil companies, when in the United States in September, 2016.
"This retail sale of Portugal's territory took place during the same period during which the people of the Algarve anxiously awaited the result of public participation programme concerning the Aljezur test well, where more than 42,000 people had objected to the government's authorisation of the exploration of hydrocarbons, with only four signatories in favour."
MALP regrets that the minister also gave the message at the US meeting that the local population and local authorities in the Algarve and Alentejo who opposed oil exploration activity, simply are ignorant.
The association calls on the participation of the Algarve and Alentejo people in a demonstration that will take place on Saturday, 11 March, 2017, in Faro, next to the School of Hospitality and Tourism, at 09:00, to "demand from the President of the Republic and the Minister of the Economy, the immediate suspension of the Aljezur test well awarded to the Galp-GALP consortium."
"Resign or be sacked"
Minister for the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino
Minister for the Environment, João Pedro Matos Fernandes