Ten days after the meeting in Loulé, where local authorities, businessmen, Algarve tourism bodies, environmental associations, groups and social movements all requested an urgent meeting with António Costa and raised a chorus of protests against the exploration and exploitation of oil in the Algarve, the Government's response is silence - writes anti-oil group, MALP.
The lack of respect shown to the main associations representing the population of the Algarve by the Socialist Government, supported by the Portuguese Communist Party, the Left Bloc and the Greens, is total, intolerable, unacceptable and against any decency in democratic life.
The refusal of the population of the Algarve to see their beaches stained by oil was countered by the government with an extension of the exploration period for one year.
The Government's delusion and delaying manoeuvres to press ahead with oil exploration in the Algarve and at the same time constricting local complaint, simply is execrable.
It was made clear, in the public consultation on the development of an oil field off Aljezur, that more than forty thousand people objected. This has been thrown into the dustbin.
The councils formally were consulted on their opinions about oil exploration in the Algarve and Alentejo and the Government simply did not want to know about these opinions.
A recommendation to the Government was approved by parliament to suspend the exploration for oil on the Vicentina coast and the Government beacame deaf.
Mayors, businessmen, environmentalists and the public attending the Loulé meeting confirmed a resounding “no” to oil exploration in the Algarve and Alentejo and the government has ignored this opinion.
With this in mind, the Algarve Free of Oil Movement (MALP) asks if anyone can rely on a Government that is guided by such misconduct towards the population - when it comes to an Environmental Impact Assessment, will this be independent and serious?
At MALP, we are very clear. We do not want to see exploration and exploration for oil in the Algarve or off the Vicentina coast.
We believe that the Secretary of State for Energy, Dr. Jorge Seguro Sanches must resign, since he lied to the public when he said (to the newspaper Expresso) that the basis for his decision to wave through a licence extension, citing the failure of two legal apllications for embargoes which in fact, were still in place.
A public servant who blatantly lies in public can not remain in his position. MALP requires the resignation of the Secretary of State for Energy.
Thursday, March 15, at 4:30 p.m., we will be at the City Hall of Loulé for a large 5-minute protest to show our dissatisfaction with the total lack of respect shown by a government led by António Costa towards the population of the Algarve.
We want to know if Dr. António Costa will respond to the request for a hearing of the local authorities of the Algarve.
Movimento Algarve Livre de Petróleo
João Eduardo Martins
Joel de Brito
Ana Catarina Rodrigues
Elsa Maria Frederico