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Latest News

New trail to unveil hidden springs and water fountains in rural Silves

New trail to unveil hidden springs and water fountains in rural Silves

A new trail which promises to unveil hidden natural springs and water fountains that most people did...

Chinese construction ‘giant’ gunning to take over Brisa motorway concession

Chinese construction ‘giant’ gunning to take over Brisa motorway concession

The largest construction company in the world, China State Construction Engineering, is said to be very keen...

Faro Council to rake in €500,000 with new “tourist tax”

Faro Council to rake in €500,000 with new “tourist tax”

Faro Council will be implementing a new “tourist tax” in the municipality on Sunday, March 1 which...

TAP posts losses of over €95 million and wants compensation for €10 million ‘hole’ created by Venezuela flight ban

TAP posts losses of over €95 million and wants compensation for €10 million ‘hole’ created by Venezuela flight ban

Portugal’s flagship airline TAP has revealed annual losses (for last year) of over €95 million, while its...

Thousands protest outside parliament against bills to legalise euthanasia

Thousands protest outside parliament against bills to legalise euthanasia

Thousands of people have taken to the street in Lisbon today to voice their opposition to five...

New US bid to twist Portugal’s arm over 5G development with Huawei

New US bid to twist Portugal’s arm over 5G development with Huawei

The US government has sent a third representative to Lisbon this week to warn against the perceived...

Government’s plan to wrangle foreign developers in Lisbon and Porto with golden visa changes draws flak from property industry

Government’s plan to wrangle foreign developers in Lisbon and Porto with golden visa changes draws flak from property industry

Foreigners looking for a chance to secure residency in Portugal through the golden visa scheme are starting...

Number of tourists in 2019 smashed records in “historic year” for tourism in the Algarve

Number of tourists in 2019 smashed records in “historic year” for tourism in the Algarve

Growth in the number of guests (+ 7.2%), total revenue (+ 7.2%), and in overnight stays (+...

Latest Features

Algarve Archaeological Association Talk - An archaeologist amongst the gravestones: reading two Irish graveyards

Algarve Archaeological Association Talk - An archaeologist amongst the gravestones: reading two Irish graveyards

The study of gravestones can provide a wealth of information not only about the people to whom they relate, but also about the different...

Facebook Ads news by Clarity - Facebook is changing its advertising budgeting

Facebook Ads news by Clarity - Facebook is changing its advertising budgeting

If you are advertising on Facebook, these are important news for you! Facebook is changing its advertising budgeting. On the 27th February a mandatory change...

Legalising Euthanasia In Portugal - Are You For Or Against It?

Legalising Euthanasia In Portugal - Are You For Or Against It?

Thousands protest outside parliament against bills to legalise euthanasia in Portugal - Are You For Or Against It?

Private Chef experience SUPPER STARS turns your home in the Algarve into the best restaurant

Private Chef experience SUPPER STARS turns your home in the Algarve into the best restaurant

With over 100 professional chefs in Portugal, Spain and in the United Kingdom, SUPPER STARS brings a talented brigade of world class private chefs...

What Are Excess Insurance Policies and Why Are They Useful?

What Are Excess Insurance Policies and Why Are They Useful?

Insurance is one of those things that you never want to think about. You go in, sign a few papers, and then head home....

The National Health System In Portugal - what are your views?

The National Health System In Portugal - what are your views?

In the news this week we saw a protest outside Portimão hospital, against the decline of clinical services in the SNS. What are your...

New oil consultation law - will the government listen?

BeachMalhaoThe law that introduces mandatory 'prior consultation' with councils, in any municipal area covered by an oil exploration and extraction concession, was published today in Diário da República.

The document was signed off by President Marcelo de Sousa and now that it has been published, officially is in force.

"Any administrative proceeding concerning prospecting, exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons shall be preceded by a mandatory consultation with the municipalities in the respective areas," reads the edict.

If the concession is offshore, as in the urgent case for Aljezur council, the consultation will be carried out with the municipality on the nearest part of the coastline.

The law also makes it obligatory for the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology to publish councils’ comments and summaries on its website, thus allowing a degree of public access to people's views.

In March, the Government made a start to show it really cared about other people's views and informed the Directorate-General for Energy and Geology that mayors must be consulted in writing and that any reply should accompany the final proposal before granting a concession area to an energy company.

The law is a reaction to the vociferous protests from the Algarve and other areas such as Peniche, where local councils have not been consulted about oil concessions granted over their territories.

Laurinda Seabra, who leads the environmental pressure group, ASMAA, said that the new law does not give councils any more rights or powers than they had already and that the law is simply to enable Portugal’s pro-oil government to tick the ‘public consultation’ box should the Supreme Court, Court of Auditors or European Commission ever check up on future concession deals.

The State will still decide on the granting of oil licences, as it always has done, pushing through deals using the ‘public interest’ argument, whatever the public actually thinks.

The anti-oil uproar, that started in the Algarve and rapidly spread north, concerned concession contracts dished out to Repsol, ENI, Galp and Partex, among others, without public consultation. This triggered a memorable public meeting in Faro in early 2016.

The Algarve’s mayors already had decided that turning the Algarve's land and sea into an oil or gas production zone was hardly compatible with their tourism plans for the region, saying any oil industry will, "endanger the region's economy and does not justify the environmental and social damage caused to people and the economy of the Algarve."

On Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 the mayors’ group AMAL met several business and tourism associations and all agreed; oil is a big 'no-no' for a region which has spent decades building up a thriving tourism business based on clean beaches, beautiful countryside and clean air and water.

The public consultation in Faro was chaired by Paulo Carmona from the National Authority for the Fuel Market (ENMC) who several times threatened to halt the meeting if the audience of 250 highly motivated people did not settle down.

Carmona introduced six speakers from the various interested oil companies and claimed that if they find oil, "we will be rich" while failing to explain, under the licensing agreements in place, how this could happen as the royalty payments are set risibly low and allow oil companies to ‘recover all costs’ before starting to pay the State any dues.

This public consultation was a shambles with patronising presentations and a weak chairman yet still the concessions went ahead with a threat that GalpENI is to start drilling next Spring, 2018, off the Aljezur coast.

The message of ‘no oil in the Algarve’ has been ignored ever since and the likelihood of a council’s negative report affecting a new concession contract is laughable during the lifetime of this government.

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