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António Costa says the drilling in Aljezur is going ahead

On Thursday the 26 July (this past week), Antonio Costa during his interview on “5 para a meia noite” (Five to Midnight) on RTP, stated with a smirk on his face, that the drilling by ENI will happen.


Here’s the actual interview - verbatum ...


António Costa: "YES" ... "HOPE SO!"



Here we have it folks, coming out of the smirking mouth of our Portuguese Prime Minister. To listen to his actual words (in Portuguese) just click here. (From Minute 6:45)


Protests e Manifestations

As we have been warning ... we are on the final stretch of this specific road, and suddenly at this late stage of the game, new faces are popping up everywhere, making as if they have been involved for decades. But where have these individuals (and organizations) been all the past couple of years? We’ve never seen them at past manifestations or events, nor have we really seen them do their civic duty of assisting these that have been involved in this struggle. Now all of a sudden they are popping out of the woodwork as “veterans”.

What’s deeply concerning is that many of these individuals appear to promote small manifestations spread all over the country.


But such strategy, in our humble opinion, takes away the “bite” that it’s needed at this stage of the anti-oil fight.


Because it is quite clear that the government is just ignoring manifestations and small occasional protests. Our governmental leaders just do not care, and these small manifestations are not only being ignored but also ridiculed by our government “leaders”.

Another underlying problem, is that many joining events at present, are just "occasional activists", people just wanting to have some fun. It’s just another “party event” and not really about the cause. Others who appear to be concerned, have many excuses for not being active participators, including fear of reprisals, especially in small communities where the tentacles of various “interests” is well established and deeply rooted.

… and the government (and corporations and their lobbies) knows it and are counting on it.


So what is the solution?

We would love to see not a hand full of people spread all over the country in many events, but thousands manifesting for extended periods of time, day-in and day-out, 24x7, in front of the Portuguese Parliament or other similar initiatives. But that needs commitment and many resources. (Things that are in very short supply at present).


It’s too late to just focus on raising awareness. What is deeply needed, are mass actions that will force our discredited government leaders to really act in the best interests of the people, the planet and the country as a whole, BEFORE ENI/Galp sink their first well in the Aljezur deep-offshore after 15 September.


Another very deeply concerning factor, is the lack of real actions by our government leaders in local municipalities and councils. We do not see any strategic actions taking place, we do not see well thoughout programs, nor do we see these leaders mobilising their constituents ( as they normally do during their electoral campaigns initiatives), instead we see some "motions of dislike", lots of "rethoric words", but nothing with real teeth.  (and even these are few) ... what makes us question, why is there such apathy in the local power structures?


While it is quite clear that we are running out of time!


The reality is that the only thing that can actually stop the offshore drilling right now is a court order, because the government will not do it ... there is no political will for it. At this point, only an injunction with suspensive power will do it.

Only this kind of legal decision will be able to stop the drilling going ahead. Nothing else! That is the reality!


But there is so much fog coming from different sides ... that is creating so much, but so much confusion :-(


Let's look at some of the info doing the rounds

Odemira and AMAL to lodge a case with ECJ?

According to the regional press, the “Camara de Odemira together with AMAL and a NGO” wants to take legal action - namely bring legal action in the European Court of Justice, with the intent to force an environmental impact study by Galp / ENI ... If this information is correct, what does that mean? What is the desired result? That an environmental impact study be done?


If the intention is that an EIA be done by ENI/Galp. This indicates that if the study is done, then the drilling is given the green light to proceed !!! ... this will be the end result, nothing more, nothing less.


In the interim, we been advised, that that GALP / ENI has already commissioned an environmental impact assessment (EIA) from the University of Algarve. If it is true ... it means, that any legal action lodged with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with the intent that an EIA be done, is going to fail, because the purpose of the legal action is being complied with.

We also need to take into consideration the timeframe that we have left to get an award from ECJ, which are only 7 weeks ... will it be enough time to bring legal action, and to have an answer from the European court? We have to take into account that normally an action in the European court takes at least 2 years before there is a decision!


Loulé High Court (TAF de Loulé) - PALP's Legal action - August 1

Also we should not forget the legal court case brought forward on behalf of PALP, which will have its last hearing in court on August 1 ... from that day onwards, we will have to wait for the decision of the judge ... which probably will take place anytime until the 15 of September (this being the date set by the secretary of state for energy - Jorge Sanches - on Jan 8 and extended to 15 September on 16 May this year, for the period of embargo of the drilling, which are really and always were the only important dates in the fight against the drilling by ENI/Galp during this current year)


What’s the current situation, and what can we still do?

The ASMAA legal action challenging the 94 law is still in court, and if the drilling does indeed get given the green light and the final go ahead ... ASMAA will file an injunction to try to stop the drilling, because at this late stage, we do not see any other alternative, there is no other option ...

The reality is that we're all involved in playing two games right now - one of Poker and one of Chess!

Meanwhile, the boat from the drilling ship (Saipem 12000) is in the Canaries and Vos Prime (the support boat) is in Gibralta ... like sharks smelling blood ... just waiting ... :-(




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