Anti-oil and gas associations have called on the government to issue a statement on the cancellation or otherwise of the gas exploration contracts in the Algarve.
The associations want a "clear and concrete" statement on the termination of the oil and gas exploration contracts, as various news reports are no substitute for a clear official statement.
The signatories, listed below, are "awaiting, as a matter of urgency, official confirmation whether it is the political will of the Government to rescind the two Portfuel concessions for Aljezur and Tavira or whether it is only waiting for a report on the irregularities detected, as suggested in the newspaper Público.”
In addition to this, the group of associations question the Government as to whether or not it is to allow the extension of the Galp-ENI concession off Aljezur when it has received the signatures of 42,000 citizens who are opposed to the deal.
For the environmentalists, the political arguments offered by the government, that it needs to know what resources exist and to avoid damaging the environment, is ambiguous and lacks coherence as if subsea or subsoil resources are discovered, the government is unable to stop the concession holders from extracting them under the terms of the contracts currently in place.
The group cites Article 81 of the Portuguese Constitution which states that the government must respect the right of the population to a healthy environment.
This can be done by repealing all the oil exploration and extraction contracts in place in Portugal and the laws that underpin them as there is no place for financial interests that are taken to be more important than the rights of the population.
The group calls for the creation of an energy plan for the country and for the government to enact laws that prevent new monopolies arising and that promote investment in a sustainable and sustainable economy.
On top of this detail, is the fulfillment of the environmental pledges signed by the Portuguese government in the Paris Agreement and reaffirmed at the 22nd Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh.
The oil plans of the Galp-ENI consortium continue as if there was no public outcry. On Thursday evening, Jan 5th, the Maltese logistical services company, Medserv, announced it had been awarded a contract by ENI to support exploration activities offshore in Portugal's Alentejo Basin.
Why Medserv made this annoucement nearly eight months after the contract was awarded, before the start of the public consultation process, remains to be discovered but seems to be part of a feeble attempt by the Italian and Spanish consortium to destabilise its vociferous anti-oil opposition.
In a statement, Medserv said it has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Portugal - ‘MDS Energy Portugal Unipessoal LDA’, to handle the work.
The associations demanding some plain speaking from the government are:
ALA - Alentejo Litoral Pelo Ambiente
Grupo Preservar Aljezur
MALP - Movimento Algarve Livre de Petróleo
PALP - Plataforma Algarve Livre de Petróleo
Stop Petróleo Vila do Bispo
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