Socially we are losing a generation to emigration, most of whom will never return, nor will they have any economic reason to do so without a reversal of how this nation is managed.
I am of the opinion, that as a result of the fact that the Portuguese government is looking for "money" wherever it can find it, immaterial of the real value to the economy of the country, and that in a state of desperation for employment, that any environmental sacrifices dictated by private infrastructural projects will be justified by the empty promises of temporary construction, oil and gas exploration jobs and if we see any of them materialize, they will be just crumbs off the plate, while big international corporations feast on our rich natural resources.
Furthermore, I as a local resident believe that to go ahead with such an oil and gas plan will mean the end of “my business”, "my job" “my investment” and “my way of living”. Not to mention the negative impact that it will have on our local economy. After all, oil/gas and tourism do not mix! Our politicians are lying to us when they state that the two can live side by side. It is a blatant lie!
As our local Mayor, I would like to pose a few questions to you as I am a deeply concerned citizen, and I look forward to receiving your stand-point on this very serious issue.
Guiding Statement: In 2011, the Portuguese government signed a contract with Repsol for the exploration of block 13 and 14 in the Algarve Basin, which is estimated to be 20 times bigger than Poseidon in Spain and which is conservately estimated to be worth at least €100 billion; setting the tone for the allocation of over 12 licences in the Algarve and Alentejo Basins for offshore oil and gas exploration.
In this context, I would like you to answer to the following questions:
Question 1: Do you believe that the Algarve people would benefit in any way at all, from the exploitation of the estimated €100 billion of oil & gas off the coast of the Algarve?
Mendes Bota, the MP in Parliament for the Algarve has stated on more than one occasion, that he expects the Repsol/Partex consortium will never pay taxes and that should they eventually pay anything, such payments will be negligible. However, we will be lumped with all costs should things go wrong.
Question 2: Do you agree that it is time to re-negotiate the deal that our government signed with the oil companies Repsol/Partex Consortium, as well as with all the other concessionary licences already in place for preliminary evaluations?
As it currently stands, Portugal has no control over how oil and gas found on Portuguese land and territorial waters will be used. Even with the world-wide recession, oil and gas prices have risen steadily for the last 2 years. Despite this the Government seems intent on giving away control of these resources – our resources!
If signing away blocks 13 and 14 were not enough, the Government has signed pre-exploration contracts for Blocks 2, 3 and 4 in the Algarve basin on the 15th of March 2013. This means that the entire area between Sagres and Vila Real de Santo Antonio is up for grabs in the very near future; meaning that your municipal footprint will be directly impacted negatively!
Question 3: Do you agree that all further exploration licenses, lease undertakings and petroleum/gas concessionary leases should be halted until a complete review of all oil and gas contractual terms is carried out with changes agreed to by the Portuguese public through a referendum?
Question 4: Do you agree that taking away people's public property rights for the sole benefit of foreign multinationals is wrong?
Question 5: Do you accept that political pressure shouldn't be used to interfere with the planning process, in particular with projects which endanger members of the public, our tourism and fishing industries and that can seriously compromise our environment?
Question 6: Do you agree that environmental laws should apply to everyone in Portugal, including powerful companies?
Question 7: Are you and your council members aware of the advanced stage of oil and gas exploration in the Algarve, which is due to start in 2014?
Question 8: Are you aware of the risks that it holds for the Algarve Tourism industry and its sustainability?
Question 9: As a new mayor what do you and your team intend doing about this critical state of affairs?
Question 10: Which pratical actions is your council prepared to take to safeguard the Algarve?
I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience,
Municipal Mayors Email contact details
(take out the spaces before and after the @ sign)
- Adelino Augusto da Rocha Soares, Presidente da Camara de Vila do Bispo - presidencia @ cm-viladobispo.pt
- Joaquina Matos, Presidente da Camara de Lagos - expediente.geral @ cm-lagos.pt
- José Amarelinho, Presidente da Camara de Aljezur - geral @ cm-aljezur.pt
- Isilda Gomes, Presidente da Camara de Portimao - gab.presidencia @ cm-portimao.pt
- Carlos Silva e Sousa, Presidente da Camara de Albufeira - presidencia @ cm-albufeira.pt
- Rogério Bacalhau, Presidente da Câmara de Faro - geral @ cm-faro.pt
- Francisco José Malveiro Martins, Presidente da Camara de Lagoa - gapresidente @ cm-lagoa.pt
- Vítor Manuel Gonçalves Aleixo, Presidente da Camara de Loule - cmloule @ cm-loule.pt
- Rui Miguel da Silva André, Presidente da Camara de Monchique - presidente @ cm-monchique.pt
- Rosa Cristina Gonçalves da Palma, Presidente da Camara de Silves - expediente @ cm-silves.pt
- António Miguel Ventura Pina, Presidente da Camara de Olhão - balcaounico @ cm-olhao.pt
- Vítor Manuel Martins Guerreiro, Presidente da Camara de S. Brás de Alportel - presidente @ cm-sbras.pt
- Jorge Manuel do Nascimento Botelho, Presidente da Camara de Tavira - camara @ cm-tavira.pt
- Francisco Amaral, Presidente da Camara de Castro Marim - gam @ cm-castromarim.pt
- Osvaldo dos Santos Gonçalves, Presidente da Camara de Alcoutim - geral @ cm-alcoutim.pt
- Luís Gomes, Presidente da Camara de Vila Real de Santo Antonio - geral @ cm-vrsa.pt