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Guadiana bridge anti-oil protest - Spain and Portugal speak as one

asmaaGuadianaProtestors gathered on the Guadiana International Bridge today as close to 300 people joined the 'Pontes pelo Clima' Portuguese-Spanish anti-oil event organised by Algarve and Huelva pressure groups.

The cross border protest was organised by Tavira em Transição and Mesa del Rio in order to create links between like-minded Portuguese and Spanish environmentalists and to agree on common areas of concern in environmental protection and alternatives to the production and use of hydrocarbons.

The president of the Portugal’s Association of Surfing and Maritime Activities of the Algarve (ASMAA), Laurinda Seabra, said the event allowed an exchange of knowledge, of experiences and of concerns among people living in the Algarve and Andalusia as in Andalusia the oil and gas industry already is more advanced.

"The Portuguese government is playing around, it is not seriously listening to the people," Laurinda Seabra said when considering the State’s argument that ‘it is necessary to know the characteristics and composition of any underground reserves.’

“No one is able to explain why we need to know what is there," said Seabra, noting that today’s protest had to be confined to the Spanish end of the bridge as the Portuguese authorities had not given permission for a gathering to take place.

Among the participants were members of the Portuguese Platform for an Algarve Free of Oil (PALP), Tavira in Transition (Tavira em Transição) Asmaa and groups from Aljezur and Vila do Bispo which have been involved in the campaign against the exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the Algarve.

"Portugal was to dedicate itself 100% to the development of alternative energy and to create a new law to say the country will be a leader in this field and that it will not let the exploration for oil and gas take place. That's what we want," said Seabra.




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