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Monchique - politicans fly in as the smoke clears

CabritaMonchiqueThe politicians have started to arrive in the Monchique area, picking through the charred remains for a positive spin.

Portugal’s Minister for Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, (pictured) said that the “great victory” had been that nobody had died in the fire that laid waste to over 27,000 hectares.

The lack of a body count meant that the civil protection authority’s firefighting management had been “notable” and that we should celebrate zero deaths, said Cabrita, sent ahead of the Prime Minister and President to prepare the ground in making this disaster a great victory.

The PM dragged himself away from his holiday to visit Monchique later on Friday afternoon and met with mayors from Monchique, Silves and Portimão, the president of AMAL and the President of the Algarve Tourism Region, among other very important people.

António Costa says he will take stock of the situation and "see what needs to be done to rebuild," while praising the emergency services.

The Prime Minister told reporters that the priority had been “to safeguard human life and this was achieved," adding, as one of his sound-bites, that, "a burning house can be repaired, human life is irreparable."

The Prime Minister praised the work done by all those who fought the fire and found time to highlight the prevention and scrub-clearance work that has been done, "reducing the risk of fire compared to last year," which was of little comfort to locals who live in this known high-risk area.
 
António Costa said the scrub clean-up will continue across the country, "work that started this winter but it is a task that we must continue in order to reduce more and more the risk of fire.”
 
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, will visit the Monchique area on Saturday to dispense further words of wisdom but until the full post-operational report has been published, locals will be making up their own minds as to what worked and what didn’t.

The current focus is on eucalyptus, thousands of hectares of it, nearly half the municipality of Monchique’s forests are planted with this imported, highly flammable species used in the pulp and paper industry.

Meanwhile, the shocked rural population will pick through what remains of their homes and businesses to see what can be done. For many, this fire is the end of the road with 50 properties destroyed and farms reduced to burnt fields and trees, now without workable machinery or livestock.

For a graphic of the fire's destructive coverage, see: https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/1027826527952691201

and to see the destruction of habitat up close, https://www.facebook.com/MarceloMartins1996/videos/10214081565825695/

 

 

 

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Comments  

0 #14 Darcy 2018-08-18 08:28
Elsa,
Don't you ever wonder why the Portugese people that you meet "turn away and just ignore you" it could be your ATTITUDE towards them.
Generally, you will find that if you are polite and genuine toward people they will respond in kind.
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+2 #13 Denby 2018-08-14 08:32
[quote name="Peter Booker"]Everyone praises the firefighters, and rightly so. But what are the conditions they actually work in? How much are they paid - is it really only €2 per hour?

Peter Booker,
As far as I am aware, the minimum wage is €5.85 per hour, but one would like to think that this brave workforce would earn more than the minimum wage.
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+1 #12 Franklin 2018-08-12 19:08
Quoting Ed:
Apologies all. I published an old picture. Thanks for all the comments - the picture was from the June visit so I have removed it.


Don't worry ed, the cretin is still just as stupid as he was in June.
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+1 #11 Sheeple 2018-08-12 13:24
Dear ELSA, i share your sentiments, i am the son of Portuguese parents who left this country soon after the 1975 revolution, i now had to return to take care of property, left as a baby returned as an adult, living in this country is a big con, the Portuguese know it, those fortunate to have left have done so those that have stayed regret it, the open wallet you remarked on, i know it well, for part of the year i volunteer my time in poor countries like Cambodia and Laos, like Thailand if you have white skin you are automatically a walking ATM card, no wallets, so what you describe about the Portuguese i see the same habits duplicate in many countries i go to around the world, unfortunately as the wealth gap widens you will see more of this Portuguese Syndrome around the world, its sad but true.
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0 #10 Elsa 2018-08-12 10:40
Some of the commenters on ADN have a supernatural awareness, if truly a foreigner (!) of how the Portuguese think and feel. But its a bit unfair - Jack's 'muted Sheep' metaphor. Sheep deserve a better analogy than 'like Portuguese'. There are many ways to tell them apart. For a start Sheep can communicate ... what do you think 'Baaa, Ram, Ewe' is for ? The tone and pitch tells you everything. The *************************** and it is a relief when they switch to a more common language like Brazilian Portuguese, English or more usually turn away and just ignore you. A Sheep will always look you in the eye and never back up, you have its attention. You only have a Portuguesers attention whilst your wallet is out - put it away or hold it upside down to show it is empty and they will soon wander off looking for another wallet. A Sheep is straight and honest and will tell you immediately if they have a problem with you or your kind; has a Portuguese been born who will give you any hint they actually don't want you in their field, just your money? Also a Sheep is always out in the open, well away from dark corners - no Portuguese is happy away from the shadowy hedgerows. I could go on but Ed. has publication deadlines to meet.
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+8 #9 Mike Williams 2018-08-11 20:12
Just been watching TV; Pres. Rebo getting badgered by a particularly wound up old boy of his age. Who has presumably lost everything this time round, perhaps again, having previously lost everything in 2003. Then some joker thinks he is being smart asking Rebo whether he will run for President again. Canny politician that he is, with a lifetime of Portuguese political wheeling and dealing behind him and, today, so much anger in the area - Rebo doesn't reply.
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+2 #8 mj1 2018-08-11 14:03
no doubt the recent fires will produce a new set of fado songs, perhaps some songs of action might be more appropriate
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+10 #7 Jack Reacher 2018-08-11 10:21
Portugal as a country is nothing but a joke. Run by a bunch of dithering nimwits who have control over a bunch of muted sheep as the population. What makes any of you think that the government will do anything of any value whatsoever. Like i said beore i can hear the cicadas singing..this will all he forgotten next week.
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+17 #6 John Sturridge 2018-08-11 08:50
The Bombeiros are always the Lions but equally have always been led by the Donkeys. It is crazy so many EU billions gone missing over the years - and still going missing - yet so often us foreigners are encouraged to be donating or raffling our throw out socks and shoes.
It is also totally idiotic for the public to be agitating for over 15 years to get eucalyptus banned by the Portuguese Government. So ample lead time and funding to get millions more eucalyptus into the ground by the forestry owners. But, having drafted the 2014 law before it gets implemented this year - millions more eucalyptus get planted in 30,000 new plantations. Why this nonsensical extra funding and 4 years for something intended to then be banned?
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+4 #5 Ed 2018-08-11 07:26
Apologies all. I published an old picture. Thanks for all the comments - the picture was from the June visit so I have removed it.
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