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President sits on the fence in oil drilling debate

oilgungeThe President of the Republic met representatives from two of Algarve’s anti-oil groups and concluded that he now would ‘reflect on the arguments’ presented to him.

The two hour discussion with MALP and PALP activists, who fully are against Galp-ENI’s September drilling plans off Aljezur, gave Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa plenty to think about: he will now weigh up the, "legal, economic, financial, environmental, short, medium and long-term, as well as political” aspects.

The Portuguese head of state did not state whether he was ‘against’ or ‘for’ oil drilling, adopting a middle of the road attitude even though there are but five weeks before drilling is scheduled to start in earnest and his intervention is needed now, if he intends to intervene.

Drilling for oil has been contested by MALP and PALP, as well as many other Algarve-based organisations which claim such action is contrary to the current climate change fight, is threatening to a region that has but one industry, tourism, and that has a natural and cultural heritage that must be preserved.

Rosalia Cruz, of PALP, took the floor and drew attention to the fact that, for anyone concerned with democracy in this country, 42,000 objections to the test well off Aljezur were not taken into account when the environmental impact assessment question was being addressed, and that all Councils in the Algarve are against drilling, yet it is going ahead.

Cruz said that the area where the test well is planned is in a "delicate seismic area, with unique biodiversity" and "is close to the Costa Vicentina Natural Park."

“We questioned how an Environment Ministry could defend a polluting activity in a proposed Protected Maritime Area, surrounded by other protected areas, when the law requires a case-by-case assessment."

PALP also pointed out that the recent fire in Monchique leads to questions of confidence in the State's environmental management skills, a State that has called urgently for a sustainable energy plan for the country yet pushes a pro-oil agenda.

“We therefore await the intervention of the Presidency in defending the region and the country against this threat to the region and to democracy so that Portugal can preserve its clean sea and healthy environment that defines us, to which we are entitled and whcih we have the duty to defend.”

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Comments  

-1 #3 Damien 2018-08-13 08:54
Portuguese should get hold of the video clip, linked to the resident of the Algarve rubbishing Civil Disprotection to Pres. Rebelo over many minutes. Pushing a common theme found on ADN - that ProCiv often have a substantially different agenda during fires than the Bombeiros and worse still, are not locals. As this old guy so rightly said - the Bombeiros know the area, they grew up in it. The video clip will have value as its like will never be seen again - Prezzy is a performer and does not like other performers taking the spotlight. He will have instructed his non-nuclear codes bag carrier, following a signal, to barge past the distractor and say in a loud stage whisper say "Your Excellency, the Spanish have crossed the border. We are now at war. The Chiefs of Staff are asking - What are your instructions?"
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-3 #2 chez 2018-08-13 07:32
Quoting Jack Reacher:
Spineless and weak. President has no mandate against the oil industry.

Sums up Portuguese politician in general!
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+1 #1 Jack Reacher 2018-08-12 21:03
Spineless and weak. President has no mandate against the oil industry.
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