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oilrigThe Minister of the Sea today was asked about oil exploration in the Algarve and said there was no economic reason that would force the state to compromise Portugal’s natural resources and that attacks on the environment would be resisted.

"Our sovereign obligations are to defend our territory. This means having to preserve and ensure the environmental sustainability of our resources; we have to protect our territory and its communities against irreversible or grievous harm so it is not lightly that these things are done," said Ana Paula Vitorino referring to oil and gas exploration currently underway.

autodromehotel2The new Secretary of State for Tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, has been in the Algarve again, this time to meet business associations in order to gather input for a strategy to "combat seasonality" in the region.

Ana Mendes Godinho said she today met the six major Algarve business associations, as she wanted to "gauge the position of these associations and establish networking" to allow everyone to "identify specific actions to reduce seasonality in the region."

riaformosaThe Greens have met one of the anti-oil campaign groups battling to save the Algarve from becoming an oil production zone and has concluded that in no way do the contracts, signed by the government with several oil companies, represent the public interest.

Members of the Greens met the Platform for an oil-free Algarve (Palp) in Loulé to go through the contracts covering the exploration and extraction of oil in the sea close the Algarve's shore and across the region's territory.

antoniocosta3The MP for the People Animals and Nature party (PAN) had some well aimed questions for the Prime Minister in parliament today, asking António Costa’s view on the oil and gas exploration and extraction plans for the tourist-dependent Algarve region.

"There are contracts in place that have to be met. There is exploration that should be done," stated the PM, adding that it is absolutely essential for the country to quantify its natural resources and to continue the exploration for hydrocarbons in the Algarve.

oilrigThe Algarve’s mayors already have decided that turning the Algarve's land and sea into an oil or gas production zone is not compatible with their plans for the region. These focus on tourism, non-polluting and clean industries and renewable energy.

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

oilblocsalgarveASMAA has launched a new door-to-door campaign in the Algarve aimed at gathering public support for council mayors in their fight against onshore fracking and offshore oil and gas exploration.    

ASMAA announced that the initiative started on Monday 21 December, under the heading:

“Nem um Furo! Nem Agora, Nem no Futuro!” - 'Not one Well! Not Now and Not in the Future!'