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Your Algarve News Highlights - May 4th 2024

Your Algarve News Highlights - May 4th 2024

Dear Reader,


Here is your weekly news overview…

Monchique: Searches for missing elderly man resume today

A GNR source as confirmed that the search for an elderly man who disappeared on Tuesday, in Monchique, was suspended last night, without results, but will resume this morning.


During the day yesterday, searches were carried out in areas around Monchique with patrols and a drone. A kinesthetic device, which detects movement, was used but was unable to locate the 72 year old man, who was last seen on Tuesday afternoon.

“The search today included four GNR patrols, three teams with dogs, another Protection and Relief patrol and another team using drones”, highlighted the GNR officer on Thursday, stating that the searches took place “almost always within the perimeter of the village” in the Algarve, but were suspended at 8:30 pm last night.

Speaking about todays search, the GNR explained that, “At the outset, what will be done is to extend the search a little further, widen the perimeter, and the effort will also be directed to the area where the man was last seen”.

The first alert about the disappearance of the 72 year old man was given at around 4pm on Tuesday, with health centers and other organizations being contacted to see if they had taken in the missing person.

Hopefully the searches today will result in a positive outcome.



Land grabbing in the Algarve

An Irish woman is still traumatised and living in hiding because of aggressive intrusions and violent threats, arising from a land dispute – and is just one example of what is being described as criminal land grabbing activities.   


Orla Dargan,65, is daughter of a CEO/chairman of the international Aer Lingus airline, and chairman of CRH plc, the largest global manufacturer and distributor of construction materials. After retiring as a city investment banker in London, Ms Dargan bought a home in the Algarve in 2016 for €180,000, and planned a rebuilding programme costing €600,000. However, her happy life in the small, tranquil town of Santa Barbara de Nexe in the central Algarve was to turn into a nightmare.


On returning from a visit to Ireland in 2021, Ms Dargan found her boundary fence had been broken. Diggers had ploughed in, and waste water had been poured onto her property. A land dispute eventually went to a Faro court where a judge ruled that Ms Dargan rightfully owned her property and there should be no illegal incursions. Ms Dargan  continued to do her best to cope with the aggressive side of the dispute, but ended up fleeing and moving from place to place in Portugal and Spain, hiding in fear of her life.


“Everyone, including my lawyer, still tells me I am at risk, but the authorities in Portugal, including the police, have not been doing anything about it.” As a possible solution to protect her property, she has now invited a number of British army veterans to live there.


Ms Dargan’s is not alone in suffering this sort of intimidation in the Algarve, according to a specialist land investigator, David Mapley, he describes land grabbing, as “an economic war being conducted due to the relative impoverishment of the Portuguese versus the "wealthy" foreigners arriving and driving up local property prices.”


Mr Mapley, who mostly deals with property crimes, says that “too often unsuspecting foreigners are rendered offside in a catastrophic way, spending years, money and stress in order to restore a property status quo.”


This is hardly the happy retirement most people dream of, he says, adding: “The glacial judicial system, indifference of the police, and ineptitude and corruptibility of lawyers, all well recognised by Portuguese, result in a one-sided battle for ‘AlGrab’, where miscreants can pretty much get away with what they want.


“As a result, misrepresentation, fraud, land boundary disputes, land and home theft, or neighbourly intimidation are commonplace.”

Written by Len Port 



Water levels rise again in the river basin of the western Algarve

The amount of water stored in the Algarve's Barlavento river basin rose to 22.6% in April, an increase of almost three percentage points compared to the month of March, but it remains the one with the least water.


According to data from the National Water Resources Information System (SNIRH) available today, there was an increase in the volume stored in eight river basins in April, and a decrease in four.

At the end of April, the Barlavento basin continued to be the one that held the least amount of water, with 22.6% (19.7% at the end of March), when the average is 74.6%. In February this basin was at 12.5% ​​of its capacity and in January it was at 9.4%.

On the last day of April, the Oeste (93.2%), Guadiana (93.1%), Tagus (92.3%) and Cávado (91%) basins were those with the highest volume of water.

According to SNIRH, of the 60 monitored reservoirs, 36 had water availability greater than 80% of the total volume at the end of April, and three had water availability less than 40%.

Each river basin may correspond to more than one reservoir.

The Algarve has been on alert due to drought since February 5th, with the Government having approved a set of measures to restrict consumption, namely a 15% reduction in the urban sector, including tourism, and a 25% reduction in agriculture.

On Wednesday, the Minister of the Environment, Maria da Graça Carvalho, admitted easing the cuts in water consumption in the Algarve in force since January in the urban sector and agriculture, with several scenarios on the table, given some improvement in availability of water.



Concerns over corruption investigation that ended government

Portugal’s ombudswoman, Maria Lúcia Amaral, is “deeply concerned” and “perplexed” with the handling of the corruption investigation that brought down the previous government.


Amaral said everything indicated there'd been a serious mistake made by public prosecutors in Operation Influencer. “There aren’t unlimited powers in Portugal, there can’t be and everyone would agree with that,” she said. 


Her comments came after the Court of Appeal in Lisbon found prosecutors had failed to demonstrate any influence Diogo Lacerda Machado, a consultant and close friend of António Costa, had over the former prime minister.


Judges described the alleged “criminal plan” as “mere deductions and speculation” and accepted the appeals of five suspects against bail measures imposed on them.


Costa resigned last year when prosecutors announced he was a target of the investigation into the construction of a hydrogen plant and data centre in Sines, as well as lithium mining in the Vila Real region. His chief of staff was briefly detained but Costa denied wrongdoing and was never charged. The president of parliament argued the prosecutor-general should face parliament to explain the processes behind the political crisis.


Critics of the public prosecutor's office have accused it of having interfered politically without having a watertight case.
Maria Lucia Amaral said that "everything indicates that there was a gross error by the public prosecutor's office, with consequences visible to everyone".


Earlier this month, the prosecutor's office said it would continue to investigate unspecified "facts that could constitute crimes" around the former government's handling of contracts and try to find those responsible.


Prosecutor General Lucilia Gago in late November rejected criticism from the Socialist Party that she or her office were responsible for Costa's resignation, saying it was based on his own assessment of his political position.



Algarve: Government to ease cuts to water consumption

Yesterday it was announced that cuts in water consumption in the Algarve, in force since January, will now be eased in the urban sector and in agriculture.


Algarve has been on alert due to drought since February 5th, with the Government having approved a set of measures to restrict water consumption, but the Minister of the Environment, Maria da Graça Carvalho, revealed that these cuts will now be eased.


“We have several scenarios on the table, all of which I think are relieving in relation to the current situation, therefore, it will always be good news”, said Maria da Graça Carvalho.


The minister was speaking to journalists in Faro, after a meeting of the Regional Subcommittee for the South Zone of the Albufeiras Management Commission, in which the current situation of water resources in the Algarve was assessed.


Maria da Graça Carvalho stressed that the Government is “aware that the lack of water in the Algarve is a problem that is here to stay”, but that the greater rainfall recorded in the region in 2024, compared to last year, paves the way for alleviating the restrictions.


“Fortunately, this year the rainfall was greater than last year and, therefore, we have room to ease the restrictions a little that have been in force until now”, she said.


The Minister of Environment and Energy was asked about the demand from the Commission for Hydroagricultural Sustainability of the Algarve (CSHA), which represents more than 1,000 producers and on Monday warned that it “will only accept equal cuts” for all sectors in the region, which currently they are 15% for the urban sector and tourism and 25% for agriculture.


“We will take into account this request, this demand from farmers. It will certainly weigh on our decision”, replied Maria da Graça Carvalho, adding, without specifying specific values, that all sectors will be able to receive relief.


The Government's decision will be taken based on scientific data and scenarios provided by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) and on the opinions expressed at the technical meeting held yesterday, and will then be announced at the next meeting of the Permanent Commission for Prevention, Monitoring and Monitoring of the Effects of Drought (CPPMAES), chaired by the Minister of Environment and Energy and the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, José Manuel Fernandes, and to be held until May 10th, in Faro.


The minister also highlighted that “a series of investments are underway at a good pace” and that the Government will “do everything to accelerate them”, including, among others, the construction of a desalination station and the capture of water from the Guadiana river in Pomarão, using funds of around 240 million euros from the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR).


Also after the meeting, the president of the Association of Beneficiaries of the Sotavento do Algarve Irrigation Plan, Macário Correia, told journalists that a proposal had been presented that “needs to be revised and better worked on” between APA and the different sectors.


“I am convinced that the Government will be able to approach and reach agreement with what we have as concerns”, he stated.



Wars blocking climate action

Portugal has been at the forefront of action against climate change, but the  subject of global warming is being overshadowed by fears of worsening wars. 


This week, the prime ministers of Poland and the United Kingdom announced plans to prepare for a war across Europe, unprecedented since World War ll. They were referring to the possible spread westward across the continent of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 


In a two-hour speech Paris on Thursday, French President Macron warned hat Europe may “die” unless the union’s 27 member states become much more ambitious. They must turn Europe into a superpower, not dependent on the United States, if it is to survive and thrive. in this fast-changing world.


President Biden signed into law a $95 billion package of United States war aid to help Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other global hotspots.


Major economic challenges are troubling nations worldwide due to geopolitical tensions, inflation, health crises, food insecurity, and a worsening outlook for developing countries. Portugal is one of the poorest countries in Europe, but in recent years it has managed to focus on expanding renewables and energy efficiency while cutting reliance on imported fossil fuels.


This has balanced plans for reaching a carbon-neutral (net zero) economy that would support the country’s economic growth and energy security, predicted the International Energy Agency.


Portugal’s energy and climate policies aim to reach carbon neutrality primarily through broad electrification of energy demand and a rapid expansion of renewable electricity generation, along with increased energy efficiency. These measures have been backed by a strong focus on reducing dependency on energy imports and maintaining affordable access to energy.


Last year Portugal doubled its 2030 goals for solar and green hydrogen capacity. It is also helping people to live and travel more sustainably. However, heatwaves and wildfires across southern Europe have made it painfully clear how little time remains to avert climate catastrophes.


European countries are under pressure to reach net zero by striking a balance between emitting greenhouse gases and mitigating against them. Each country has unique resources, so is carving its own route to a greener future.


The new 2024 AD government will no doubt pursue Portugal’s transition goals, but it will not be able to depend on support from the far-right Chega party. Chega and other radical populist groups in Europe have different agendas on coping with climate change, just as they do on which side to support in the war in Ukraine, plus the possibility of Russia pushing westward.


Also alarmingly contentious, the far-right Reform party in the UK, for example, insists that net zero is the wrong approach because it is damaging livelihoods and the economy. “Net zero means reducing man-made CO2 emissions to stop climate change that has been happening for millions of years before man-made emissions, and it will always change. We are better off accepting warming than pretending we can stop it. Up to ten times more people die of cold than warmth. In Roman Britain some 2,000 years ago, it was two degrees warmer than now. Grapes for wine were grown in Yorkshire, says Reform UK.

Written by Len Port



More news next week!




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Currency Market Update - 2nd May 2024

May’s Federal Reserve Interest Rate meeting took place last night, and for a change it was pretty much a non-event in the markets. The Central Bank has again kept Interest Rates on hold at their current levels of 5.5%, this has shown a complete U-turn by officials after initially stating in January that rate cuts were just around the corner.



SNAPSHOT! Art and Photography news from the Algarve - May 2024



Welcome to our brand-new 'hot off the press' May 2024 edition. Thank you for all your kind messages about Alyson's broken wrist last month. She's healing nicely and starts physiotherapy this week.
We've got a bumper edition for you this month, and as always, it's completely free!



Exploring the Best of Britain: Beaches and Mountains

The UK is not just filled with mesmerizing history or shopping arcades. It’s also home to numerous natural wonders, which is why so many people visit this beautiful island every year.




3 bed renovated villa with pool & sea views, just a short walk from Carvoeiro

This stunning, renovated 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa of 155m², with great sea views from most windows has a heated pool, air conditioning, gas central heating, solar panels & landscaped garden.



3 bedroom apartment with pool, only 250m from Carvoeiro beach

This 3 bedroom apartment for sale is located in the heart of Carvoeiro with swimming pool, garage, only 250m from Carvoeiro beach.



2 bedroom ground floor apartment on Gramacho - Carvoeiro

For sale, this beautifully presented first floor 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment with stunning sunset and views across the 4th tee on Gramacho golf course, Carvoeiro.



For Sale: A Luxurious Algarve Villa with Expansive Grounds

Nestled within the serene landscapes of a peaceful, international semi-rural community and boasting timeless charm plus modern comfort, this property is perfect for discerning homeowners seeking tranquillity without sacrificing convenience.



Immaculate 3 Bedroom Villa For Sale, Almancil

This pristine, three-bedroom detached villa is positioned on a private, fully fenced plot on the southern side of Almancil, within easy walking distance to a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafés.



Beautiful 4 bedroom home near Tomar, overlooking the Castelo de Bode

This pristine, three-bedroom detached villa is positioned on a private, fully fenced plot on the southern side of Almancil, within easy walking distance to a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafés.




Fundraising Fashion Show - June 9th

Join us for a fundraising fashion show in Cabanas de Tavira on Sunday 9th June 2024, at 12h30 to raise funds for local animal charities who strive to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome the gorgeous creatures who arrive at our shelters.



Amigos de Música concerts in May 2024



For the AMIGOS CONCERTS on May 14th and 16th, 2024, we are delighted to announce two brilliant artists from England who come again to Portugal to play for the AMIGOS DE MÚSICA: Acclaimed virtuoso clarinettist SARAH  WILLIAMSON  accompanied by VIV McLEAN, piano.



Portugal Charity Chat Hosts April Networking Lunch at Papas Restaurant in Armação de Pêra

Portugal Charity Chat, a platform for fostering collaboration between charities, proudly organised a vibrant networking lunch on April 24th at Papas Restaurant in Armação de Pêra.



Unwind, Create, and Rejuvenate: Algarve Locals, Join Us for a Unique Retreat!

Calling all Algarve residents! Are you yearning for a tranquil retreat surrounded by the breath-taking beauty of nature, all within reach of your own doorstep? Look no further than Figs on the Funcho, your haven for creativity and relaxation.



Algarve band 'Juke Joint Blues' launch their debut album

British combo Juke Joint Blues, who live in the Algarve, have just had their debut album released. Entitled Rockin In The Sun it is available on all major platforms – Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.



Marine Environment Educational Tour in the Algarve

AIMM, a Portuguese environmental NGO, will organize an Educational and Environmental Tour during the month of May, with schools in the Algarve area.



LECTURES: The Islamic Baths, Loule, from archaeological ruin to museum

On Tuesday 7th May, the Algarve Archaeological Association (AAA) will be presenting two lectures, in English, by Rui Roberto de Almeida and Alexandra Pires from the Municipal Museum of Loulé. The first lecture will be at 2.30pm at the Museu do Traje in São Bras de Alportel, the second lecture will be at 6pm at the Convento de São José in Lagoa.




To see more info about events coming up in the next few weeks, check out

My Guide Algarve's event calendar


For latest information and advice regarding crime, wildfires and the Covid-19 pandemic, visit the

Safe Communities Portugal website


Everything you need to know if you are moving to, living in or visiting the Algarve.

AngloInfo website


‍Have a great week, from the Algarve Daily News team!


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