With customary protests, today led by country’s beekeepers
The ‘closer government’ initiative has been marketed by the PS Socialist absolute majority as a way of showing how Portugal’s leaders are prepared to ‘reach out’ to the population beyond Lisbon. But it hasn’t really worked out this way. Whenever there is a closer government session, ministers are met with angry protests. And instead of engaging (and getting closer), the cavalcade of vehicles either sweeps on, or the ministers themselves walk resolutely forwards, looking neither right nor left.
This is what is happening today in Évora, where the country’s beekeepers registered their sense of outrage at ‘being ignored’ as the sector that underpins food production nationally (and globally) is, in their eyes, at risk.
SIC Notícias reports, “with a great deal of noise with the arrival of the government, in particular the minister of Agriculture, beekeepers made themselves heard. But Maria do Céu Antunes (the minister of Agriculture) ignored them”.
Situation normal, in other words. Closer government only in terms of very temporary geography.
SIC explained the beekeepers’ dilemma, stressing that there have been marked falls in the production of fruit and almonds this year, due to bees vulnerability “but, in the view of beekeepers, the government simply claps and turns its back”.
The closer government session today is expected to approve the Plan for Water Efficiency in the Altejo, and the management reform of museums and national monuments, SIC continues.
As part of the exercise, the prime minister yesterday visited the site of the future central Alentejan hospital, and Alandroal, to see works underway on the railways to link the ports of Sines, Lisbon and Setúbal with Spain.