Portugal's Supreme Court has ruled in favour of protecting the Ria Formosa islands’ chameleon thus continuing the suspension of demolitions at the settlements of Hangares and Farol.
The successful Loulé court action to protect the island protected reptile had been appealed by the Polis Ria Formosa Company which was keen to demolish as many island properties as possible in this final year of its operations.
The contract for the Faro-Olhão sewage treatment works "will be awarded in April," claims the Secretary of State for the Environment.
Carlos Martins, said that recent approval of an investment package of €30 million for Águas do Algarve will enable the new wastewater treatment plant to at last be built.
Nearly a hundred protesters against the demolition of their houses on the Ria Formosa islands today confronted Minister for the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, who phoned the environment minister for guidance.
Vitorino was able to assure the protesters that a balanced solution will be found for everyone and that "after meeting with several authorities' the minister for the environment will present his solution and then will "talk to people."
The Algarve mayors are in danger of becoming wildly popular as they have grouped together, even Faro Mayor Rogério Bacalhau, to demand the immediate suspension of demolitions on the Algarve’s Ria Formosa islands.
At yesterday’s AMAL meeting, the mayors unanimously "decided to demand and submit to the Government a request for the immediate suspension of the demolition plan for the communities at Hangars and Farol on the island of Culatra."
Members of the SOS Ria Formosa ‘Je suis Ilhéu’ movement have re-started their protest action plans following the approval by parliament of a resolution that failed to agree the immediate suspension of the planned demolition of their homes.
"In the wake of Friday's events in parliament we took the decision to start new protests” according to the islanders who now are waiting for a resumption of demolition work by the government agency Polis Litoral Ria Formosa.
The Socialist Party today ensured the failure of a proposal to allow the Ria Formosa islanders to live their lives without the continuing threat of having their homes knocked down by the State agency Polis Litoral Ria Formosa.
The Socialists sided with the former PSD and CDS coalition parties, now in opposition, and the motion to protect the islanders was rejected while its own proposal was voted in to "adopt a firm stance to restore compliance and combat proven unauthorised construction in the public maritime domain, primarily intervening in higher risk areas, ensuring the right of first housing and the relocation of fishermen…"
In advance of the parliamentary debate scheduled for Friday 12th February on the fate of the Ria Formosa islanders, the Commission for the Environment, Planning, Decentralisation, Local Power and Housing met in committee to discuss the matter.
Algarve Socialists are proposing a 'change in philosophy' for Polis Litoral Ria Formosa, requiring it to stop demolishing houses and start helping develop the artesan indutries which they are meant to be helping.
The Mayor of Faro, Rogério Bacalhau, has confirmed that the controversial demolitions on the Ria Formosa islands are to continue.
On January 19th the mayor met Celia Ramos, Secretary of State for Regional Planning and Nature Conservation who confirmed the demolitions will go ahead.