I want to make it clear that I am against the tolls on the Algarve’s A22 motorway, and I applaud CUVI for their hard-work over these last five years.
But maybe it’s time to either accept that the tolls are here to stay, or come up with some other form of protest that isn’t just a ‘slow march’ or a demonstration that is attended by a few dozen people.
The truth is, we’re no closer to ending the tolls now than we were in 2011 when they were implemented.
It’s obvious that PS electoral promises about the Algarve motorway tolls were always very cryptic because they never intended to scrap them.
And unless gold and lithium indeed “change Portugal’s fortunes”, I don’t see any government giving up the income from the tolls.
However, citizen movements can indeed be successful. The Algarve has witnessed two others that are still ongoing but have already celebrated many important wins – the fights against oil and gas exploration in the Algarve and the Ria Formosa demolitions.
Groups like PALP, ASMAA or the Ria Formosa islanders’ associations prove that the power of the people can sometimes overthrow the dubious interests of a select few.
CUVI is also worthy of praise, but it is in urgent need of a change of direction if it is to ever triumph, or at least move forward, in its battle against the tolls.
I know I shouldn’t just complain about their tactics. I know I should get up and actually join CUVI, being anti-tolls myself, but I admit to being not the type to want to get involved in such initiatives…