Two Algarve mayors, one from the five councils that own 37% of the Ria Formosa Polis Litoral Society, and one from its Consultative Committee, have called for an Extraordinary General Meeting.
The Mayors of Vila Real de Santo António and of Faro, Luís Gomes and Rogerio Bacalhau formally have asked the Polis management to schedule the EGM 'as a matter of urgency.'
In the formal letter delivered today, the mayors request that on the agenda are listed the issues related to ‘activities carried out and planned for the Ria Formosa zone as regards the rehabilitation and recovery of this natural area,’ council-speak for ‘the demolition of private properties.’
The mayors also want a report on the progress to date on the development plan for the Coastal Zone of Vilamoura to Vila Real de Santo António, a key part of the Polis remit and one that despite more than adequate funding cannot be considered to be anywhere close to completion.
The presidents of the two councils want a full discussion with the other partners, which include their mayoral colleagues from Tavira, Olhão and Loulé, "taking into account the multiple interventions that are being made in the renaturation programme for the Ria Formosa, and Polis must make an assessment of the monitoring of the whole process by the mayors of those municipalities whose territories are part this protected area."
‘This is the time to take stock of the implementation and effectiveness of the Vilamoura to Vila Real de Santo António Coastal Zone plan, considering that it impinges on population centres and key economic sectors for the Algarve's economy.’
The letter notes that Polis will have had ten years, as of June 2015, to complete the work set out, and infers that little has been achieved apart from the rushed demolition of islanders’ houses and shacks.
This demolition process now is on hold due to a court decision last Friday that saw 137 properties granted a temporary demolition ban pending Polis appearing in court in Loulé to persuade the judge that demolishing 800 properties is ‘in the public interest.’
Island hero and man of the moment, the mayor of Olhão António Pina, if present at the Polis EGM will have the opportunity to present a powerful case for the islanders whose interests he so powerfully is now defending.
At the April 25th celebrations on the island of Farol, Pina was cheered by the crowd who later formed a kilometre long human chain to highlight their struggle to keep their homes many of which are under the threat of demolition by the Polis contractors.
Faro's Bacalhau, who has been notable for his wavering on the issue of demolitions, said today "We want to know what is happening with the renaturalisation process that is ongoing. We know there are interim measures, but we were not informed by the Polis Society on its consequences."
"If there's anything we can do to stop the demolitions, we'll do it."
Pina, like many skilled politicians, sees which was they crowd is heading and nips in front, saying 'follow me!'
On April 25th he solidified 500+ votes from Farol alone...