A22 toll protests ignored by PM

For the second year running, members of the A22 Users’ Commission (CUVI) staged protests against the motorway tolls outside the holiday homes of the President of Portugal and the Prime Minister to coincide with their August break in the Algarve.

The first protest was a vigil outside the holiday home of President Cavaco Silva in Aldeia da Coelha in Albufeira on Friday last week.

Undeterred by the presence of several police officers and security guards, the group demanded to be heard by the President in a bid to convince him that the abolition of the A22 tolls is the only way to save the Algarve’s economy. However, Cavaco Silva refused to speak to the protestors.

On Sunday morning, another protest was held, this time outside the holiday home of Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho in Manta Rota, where he is spending a few days with his wife and daughters.

GNR officers kept a close eye on the protesters, led by the vocal João Vasconcelos, who demanded a response to a file sent to the government last year detailing the negative impact the tolls were having on the local economy.

In the afternoon, the group comprising of more than 10 people moved on to continue their protest at Manta Rota beach, where the PM can often be found during his Algarve holidays. Again, it failed to obtain the desired result – a moment with the Prime Minister to express their dissatisfaction at the tolls that were implemented in December 2011 and have since reported major losses, with traffic on the A22 dropping by half.

Another protest is being held on August 16 in Quarteira during the PSD ‘Pontal Party’ attended by the PM.