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Latest News

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 (+...

Economy minister hopes to keep six-year growth rolling with big spending plan

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GNR dismantle network of criminals behind spree of robberies in the Algarve

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Portuguese government looks into subsidising UK tourists' post-Brexit healthcare

Portuguese government looks into subsidising UK tourists' post-Brexit healthcare

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Facing the flames: How Portugal’s interior is preparing for the fires ahead

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Portugal is one of the countries in Europe most threatened by wildfires, and as the climate changes,...

Iberian bishops express worries over political moves to legalize euthanasia

Iberian bishops express worries over political moves to legalize euthanasia

Portuguese and Spanish church leaders have criticized proposals to legalize euthanasia in their traditionally Catholic countries, and...

Politicians rally around racially abused Porto football player following monkey chants from crowd

Politicians rally around racially abused Porto football player following monkey chants from crowd

President Marcelo and the Prime Minister Antonio Costa have added their voices to a national outcry today...

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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

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What Are Excess Insurance Policies and Why Are They Useful?

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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?

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NHR - 2020 State Budget requires a minimum tax of 10% for foreign pensioners

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Expatriates to pay at least €7,500 in income tax per year on foreign sourced pensions With the proposed NHR changes in the 2020 State Budget,...

Protecting Your Long-Term Financial Security

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Blevins Franks will be holding a seminars throughout March and early April, to advise on protecting your long-term financial security.

Music Therapy brings joy to Alzheimer and Parkinsons sufferers

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Music often plays a big part in our lives. But for many patients with cognitive disabilities such as autism or dementia, music used...

Minister confronted by protesting Ria Formosa islanders

riaformosaNearly a hundred protesters against the demolition of their houses on the Ria Formosa islands today confronted Minister for the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, who phoned the environment minister for guidance.

Vitorino was able to assure the protesters that a balanced solution will be found for everyone and that "after meeting with several authorities' the minister for the environment will present his solution and then will "talk to people."

“I have just talked on the phone with the environment minister who assured me that he is addressing this issue with his full attention and I am absolutely sure that a balanced solution will be found for everyone," said Ana Paula Vitorino in a short conversation with the protesters.

The SOS Ria Formosa movement not surprisingly is vehemently opposed to the demolition of their homes on the Ria Formosa islands and want clarification from the Socialist government which before the election said that the demolitions would be suspended.

With demolition notices posted this week by Polis, the State controlled company which sees its mission in life to destroy as many island homes a possible, the Socialist government is at odds with reality and has been accused of duplicity, prevarication and cynicism.

"They promised in the last election that they would definitely stop the demolitions, we are waiting to have it in writing now that they are in government," said Vanessa Morgado, one of the leaders of the Je Suis Ilhéu-SOS Ria Formosa protesters.

For Morgado, "it is not the houses that cause pollution in the estuary," one of the string of excuses used by various ministers to justify the demolitions, there other problems to be resolved such as the dumping of sewage from the mainland and the silting up of the Ria.

Several communities on the islands have properties targeted for demolition, ordered by the ministry of the environment under a ‘renaturation’ project in the nature reserve area.

‘Renaturation’ in this context means removing all properties and leaving the islands clear for up market tourism development.

Olhão mayor, socialist António Pina said of the threatened islanders, "Their concerns are mine," adding that he believed that "the prime minister will show common sense."

The ministry announced on Wednesday that it will reclassify the settlement on Culatra to clarify the legal situation of more than 300 existing buildings used as first homes and the storage of fishing equipment.

Leaving Culatra off the demolition list will "contribute to improving the quality of life of its residents and at the same time we can clarify the legal position of more than 300 occupied buildings," according to the ministry which, despite its late moves still runs Polis and hence is fully aware that demolition remain top of the company’s agenda.  

The Minister for the Sea has been in the Algarve for two days visiting a number of companies and projects as part of her remit to boost the ‘sea economy’ in the Algarve but she has failed to engage with those traditional shellfishermen trying to make a living from the Ria Formosa lagoon area which is polluted with untreated sewage entering the natural area with the full knowledge of the environmental and water authorities.

Vitorino visited the University of the Algarve to discuss ideas for an Atlantic Observatory and met the mayors group AMAL to discuss investment in the regions ports and marinas.
 
Earlier this month, the minister announced a legislative package to stimulate the maritime economy including the launch of the MAR2020 program, related to the EU funds in support of the economy of the sea, and the creation a Blue Fund to help finance relevant investors and businesses.

For the islanders, the minister's involvement in high-flying development funds and initiatives is of no relevance. They want a clean and sewage-free Ria Formosa and to be left in peace to continue their unique way of life in settlements which, until tourism came along, nobody was interested in. 

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