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Ria Formosa Islands - eight more homes demolished on Culatra

CulatraRepossessions81The demolition of homes on the Ria Formosa island of Culatra continued today with the Polis Society overseeing the destruction of eight properties in the village of Farol. Six properties in Hangares are scheduled for destruction on Thursday, Nov 8th.

Home owners had filed injunctions, but this did not prevent the demolitions from moving ahead even though the injured parties said they had not been informed by Loulé Court of any final decision.

The SOS Ria Formosa blog described the properties, “They were not tents, they were not ruins, they were houses of families that had been there for decades, generations that today saw the State take away a great part of their lives, their experiences, their memories.”

Polis Ria Formosa had objected to the injunctions filed by property owners and today persuaded the Maritime Police, gathered to ensure the demolitions went ahead, that they had authorisation to proceed.

Yesterday, Polis had taken administrative possession of 14 houses, eight in the Farol and six in Hangars, but the expectation of the owners was that they would have been able to gain more time and certainly would have been informed by the Court of its decision.

But this morning, the houses marked the day before, were demolished as 40 Maritime Police officers looked on, seemingly without emotion however much individual officers might think this whole demolition business is a complete waste of time and money. As far as upholding the law, they maritime Police failed to take into account the legal process and allowed Polis to carry on with the demolitions, instead of waiting for an order from the Court.

The SOS blog called today’s actions, the result of, “a very dubious decision both in the definition of criteria and in the continuation of different treatments of the same situation.”

Although 14 injunctions had been filed, two of them had different arguments from the others but 12 were accepted by the Court on Monday. A rapid response by Polis to the judge’s queries led to the houses being possessed on Tuesday, and demolished today.

Feliciano Júlio, president of the Santa Maria Lighthouse Island Association, said he was "desolate to see more houses going down" and said that if the demolitions had gone ahead without a final decision from the Court, he would consider, "moving forward with criminal proceedings."

"In a situation like this, where there are injunctions, it would be expected that Polis waited for the final decision of the judge. But they decided to demolish. Now, if tomorrow the Court says the house owners are right, their houses already have been demolished," said Júlio.

On Thursday, the homes at Hangares, that on Monday were seized by Polis and marked for demolition, will be torn down.

Despite these houses being part of the last group of demolitions planned on Culatra by the government, SOS asks why the villages of Hangares and Farol are being treated differently from the village of Culatra which the government has just legalised.

One of the owners watching his house being demolished, Domingos do Poço, said he felt wronged but that, "they are in charge" and that "he knows nothing," while suggesting that if his house was in a risk zone, then the demolitions should extend to other places, such as Vilamoura and Quarteira.









0 #1 Peter Booker 2018-11-08 08:32
Polis has had its life extended more than once, and perhaps this current activity is an indication that Polis really will be wound up at the end of this year. And if Polis makes mistakes now in demolishing houses illegally, the owners of these houses will have no-one to sue, because Polis will have disappeared.