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Algarve's anti-oil movement goes national

oilrigThe pressure group campaigning against the development of an oil and gas industry off the Algarve’s coastline is appealing to the Portuguese nation for support.

Algarve Livre de Petróleo, or PALP, was set up following the initiative of a group of citizens and organisations in the Algarve region and now wants to alert the populations of the Algarve and the rest of Portugal as to the importance of campaigning against the exploitation of oil and natural gas off the Algarve coast.

In addition to the "risk of negative impacts on the environment, tourism and the lives of people living in the Algarve", the platform warns people of "the near absence of economic and financial compensation for the Portuguese state," which "leaves private companies to extract oil for profit, leaving Portuguese citizens with the risks and costs of such ruinous contracts and bad policy decisions."

"It's not the first time that the Portuguese people have been called to take action against serious threats to their living conditions," says the platform, recalling the case of a nuclear power plant which did not go ahead due to a groundswell of adverse public opinion.

"Again, we have to alert the population as to the threat of environmental attack on our living conditions," says the movement.

The platform points out that one of the risks of drilling in the designated areas include triggering earthquakes as tectonic faults run through the licensed zones.

The platform said that it is meeting one of the Algarve councils which is interested in discussing the issue and in May the first public meeting will be held.

Quercus, Almargem, the League for the Protection of Nature, Movimento Algarve Livre de Petróleo, Glocal Faro, SPEA, Peace and Art Society and New Loops will all be represented.



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