Anti-oil protests scheduled for Algarve and Lisbon

With Algarve citizens’ group ASMAA busily organising buses for a mass protest later this month, MALP – the movement for an Algarve free from oil and gas exploration – is holding one closer to home in Loulé on February 9 (next Thursday).

The group – one of the first to form in the Algarve’s long-running fight against government plans for oil and gas exploration – claims it wants to know where the town’s mayor, Vítor Aleixo, stands on the issue, given that he recently added the post of president of the regional council of the CCDR (commission for regional development) to his civic responsibilities.

In a confrontational press statement, MALP says its protest is a bid to see what Aleixo “thinks he will be doing in his capacity” as mayor and CCDR chief “to bring an end to the oppression over the lives of Algarve people”.

MALP “informs” those reading its statement that a “large bottle of black liquid” will be spilt outside the headquarters of the Socialist party in Loulé “as a response to the contempt and total lack of respect with which the Government has treated the citizens of the Algarve” in the decision to plough ahead with drilling plans regardless of public opinion.

The group says it also wants Aleixo to explain what the term public consultation really means, “when more than 40,000 people said no to exploration in Aljezur in what was one of the largest demonstrations of civic participation in this country”.

As we wrote earlier this week, this battle shows no signs of cooling.

ASMAA – the group that has mobilised the region’s expats – is in the process of organising buses for its ‘mass protest’, scheduled for Thursday February 23 outside the Republican Assembly in Lisbon.

The date has been chosen as it is the moment scheduled for public debate about ASMAA’s petition, despite the fact that the government made its decision to authorise drilling “behind closed doors” weeks ago (click here).

For details of how to join ASMAA’s protest in Lisbon, see the group’s Facebook page.

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