But interestingly it looks more like it will be the Portuguese taxpayer that will be in fact carrying the entire cost of all drilling operations should such operation gets to see the light of day. As after all through their subsidiary Saipem registered in the Madeira offshore they have conveniently failed to mention the 200M€ that they have indirectly benefited from various fiscal exemptions and benefits over the past few years.
Now, why SHOULD the Portuguese taxpayers carry the cost when in fact there is massive opposition? Why should the taxpayers be left with nothing except the tremendous risks of serious accidents, which they will in the end have to pay for as well?
But this saga is getting more interesting by the minute, as it is now clear that the government is not only firmly on the company’s payroll, but are also scrambling to place the blame 100% at the DGRM’s door. By alleging that if there are any procedural faults, and they loose their cases, the blame is being placed with DGRM.
Speculation abounds, if one listens to the rumours doing the rounds, that maybe ENI is not as “innocent” as they pertain to be, as there are claims of a massive lobbying activity done on their behalf within Ministry of the Sea, and Ministry of Economy which led to the flow through of instructions from these ministries to both the ENMC and the DGRM to buck the system.
Could it be? Only time will tell.
At the end of the day the responsibility and accountability rests 100% with all the ministries involved.
Looking back to the days when Paulo Carmona was still with the ENMC, according to rumours in the corridors of power at the time (2015), there was apparently a day in which Mr. Carmona having raised some concerns regarding new oil exploration contracts, was told in no uncertain terms by the then Minister of Environment, Moreira da Silva to just sign whatever had to be signed, as Moreira da Silva was the “boss”. And sign the ENMC did, new contracts with Repsol/Partex and with Australis.
We don’t for one minute believe that the policy of top down instructions has changed in our government. Time for these ministries to be held 100% accountable to the people!
Opinion article by Laurinda Seabra