Breaking news this morning as hundreds of islanders from Ria Formosa travel to Lisbon to hear debates on their future is that Sebastião Teixeira, the president of the authority that has been gunning to demolish their homes has “abandoned his posts” not only as president of Polis Litoral Ria Formosa, but as director of APA, the Algarve environment agency.
The Resident has been at pains to verify the news. At Polis Litoral , the receptionist said: “This is news to me” and passed us to Mr Teixeira’s secretary at APA, Paula Silva who said: “I am unable to speak about this”.
Silva referred us to APA’s central office in Lisbon, which appears to be flooded with calls.
Three attempts to get through found us listening to a recorded message saying our call would be dealt with “as soon as possible”, only to find we were then cut off.
A fourth attempt got a receptionist who said she had never heard of Sebastião Teixeira. She told us to speak to APA in the Algarve.
We were finally put through to someone who said no one could answer any question we had unless we put it in writing.
No amount of references to the fact that we are in a digital world with instant communication cut any ice.
Calls to the island have been greeted with people sending us “kisses” and saying their “hearts are avenged”.
Euphoria is causing static across social media, with exclamation marks and delight in every post.
Algarve primeiro website has headlined the news as: “Polis president slams the door”. Thus as the details emerge, all one can say for sure is the fight to save Ria Formosa islanders from losing their homes has definitely moved to higher ground.
By law, however, Teixeira must stay in his position until the end of November, says Algarve primeiro, adding that “another director” has also ‘slammed’ the metaphorical door.