The PM has extended the deadline after which property owners can be fined for not clearing scrub and trees around their properties.
António Costa announced today the postponement of fines on the day the first deadline was reached, March 15th.
The latest date is now ‘from June’ to give people time to clean the areas surrounding isolated houses, villages and roads.
"No fines will be imposed if these clean-ups are effectively completed by June," said the PM, adding that "The aim of the campaign is not to chase fines."
The GNR will continue to carry out actions to explain to a generally bemused public what their responsibilities are, with fines for non-compliance varying between €280 and €10,000 for individuals and between €3,000 and €120,000 for companies.
The government today will rush through a change to the decree-law so that fines can’t be issued until June 1st.
In a statement to journalists after a meeting with Portugal's association of councils, António Costa said that the GNR will start collating cases of land that has not yet been cleaned, but stressed that this process "is not chasing fines" and that the authorities will continue their education and information-giving activities.
For those who have not cleaned their land by today, councils can now do the work before May 31st and later charge the landowners.
They are making a very sensible approach to a difficult problem, and on the day after the former deadline, it is impressively quick.
Call me a sceptic but I kinda doubt it.
Our GNR have been around; they issued a stern warning to an old Dutch tenant of an apartment that the land near his place should be cleared, including a small pile of firewood that should be relocated to 50 meters from the house.
He told them again, it's not his land, he just rents an apartment above the main house.
They took down his particulars, since they don't know who the owner is, and probably can't find out.
As with so many properties in Portugal, it's owned jointly by an extended family.