Log in

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *

Government turns its back on Ria Formosa fiasco

demolishThe government has rejected a call by opposition parties for parliament to discuss the situation affecting the Ria Formosa  islanders and the actions of the management company, Polis.

Local Algarve mayors and other associations had called for an urgent review of the actions of Polis which has contracted for the demolition of hundreds of properties without making arrangements for the resettlement of the many islanders who have no other place to live.

Algarve MP Miguel Freitas today accused the government of a major blunder but the coalition simply does not want to discuss the matter which means it either is unconcerned that Portuguese residents now are homeless or it sees the request for a discussion on the topic as too embarrassing a prospect.

Coalition members voted against listening to the complaints and observations of the various islands’ residents associations and they do not wish to engage in fruitful discourse with the mayors of Faro, Loulé, Olhão, Tavira and Vila Real de Santo António.

Whatever the government's reason for rejecting the chance for a discussion on this hot topic, by its actions shall it be judged and the claims of arrogance, elitism, lack of compassion and lying remain on the charge sheet.

Freitas wanted the Minister for the Environment Jorge Moreira da Silva to explain to parliament what exactly has been going on and to look carefully at the management company Polis which seems to have run out of control on a politically driven agenda to the detriment of the recent homeless.

Freitas also wanted to look at the fundamental right to housing for citizens against the desire to tidy up the islands on the entirely spurious grounds of health and safety.

In a report from Sul Informaçao, the Socialists claim that this is a "matter of huge regional and national importance" and they wanted to question the strategic plan for the Ria Formosa area where the investment has gone from €87 million to €45 million euros, yet demolitions have started without any resettlement plan in place.

"Parliament can not close its eyes to what is happening in the Ria Formosa," said Freitas who pointed out that the reality on the islands differed from the sanitised government line from the Minister who declare that not one person would be made homeless.

If this matter is not important enough to be debated in parliament and the minister in charge to be held to account, local groups and mayors have a right to question the role of the current government in a parliament that is being run for the benefit of ministers' careers and not for the benefit of the people.

Whatever the rights of islanders and the legality or otherwise of their homes, few locally doubt the right of homeless shellfishermen to alternative shelter.

Some now are camping out in Olhão's dock area as they are banned from staying on the island on pain of a €1,000 fine, according to Maritime Police.

The Minister in charge of this fiasco refuses even to discuss the matter and it seems the coalition has set itself on a collision course with much of the local Algarve electorate early on in this election year.


Pin It


-1 #4 SuzyQ 2015-02-21 17:26
One of the many things that attracts me and scores of fellow estrangeiros to Olhao, time and time again is the quaintness of its old town and islands. The ramshackle buildings on the islands make them so attractive to us tourists, we do not see them as ugly, we see them as thriving communities of locals living a simple life, which many of us can only dream of. The destruction both to properties and families is beyond belief. I do believe there is a sinister hidden agenda for redeveloping the islands for the classy tourist....what a hellish vision !!
0 #3 DavidR 2015-02-17 23:18
This cynical, high-handed, ignorant and morally inert government position is typical of Portugal's underlying class system where discrimination by a complacent elite against those who pay their salaries is never far below the surface.

Here we see the sheer nastiness of a government which refuses even to discuss key matters that leave citizens homeless so as to make beaches look prettier.
I am simply disgusted.
+2 #2 Peter Booker 2015-02-17 20:58
All these people knew what could happen, and have waited until now to protest. Why? I suspect that they are trying to make themselves seem supportive of the homeless, but it is all a political game.

It is rotativismo all over again. After the next election, we shall get the Socialists, who will do no better, and after that the PSD, all looking after their own interests. And the electorate can go to h---.
+2 #1 Mr Hoover 2015-02-17 18:58
With elections this year one would have thought Peter Rabbit and his bunch of mates would be on a charm offensive,but apparently not...Strange place this..

You must be a registered user to make comments.
Please register here to post your comments.