“We won’t be stopped until the tolls get dropped” could be the motto of the Algarve’s leading anti-tolls group as it now prepares to hold another protest, this time a bicycle ride along the EN125 on May 20.
Fighting for the immediate suspension of tolls on the A22, the latest protest by the Comissão de Utentes da Via do Infante (CUVI), the A22 users’ commission, aims to raise awareness about the region’s harsh social and economic realities, particularly since the tolls were implemented.
The CUVI said: “The fight will continue for as long as the tolls exist. The social and economic crisis in the Algarve is getting worse, with the populace and businesses being severely penalised by the measure. Bankruptcy and insolvency have become the order of the day, with unemployment and social exclusion reaching dramatic and unsustainable levels. “Summer is just around the corner and the Algarve region cannot wait any longer.”
On May 20, some protestors will set off on their bikes from Faro’s Jardim Manuel Bívar at 9am while other groups will take to the road from Almancil (10.15am, Pastelaria Bolo-Rei), Quarteira (10.15am, Pastelaria Beira-Mar), Loulé (10.15am, Mercado de Loulé), and Boliqueime (10.15am, Café Rotunda Boliqueime), with the meeting point for all protestors participating on the day at Parking Café Pregus, Quatro Estradas, at 11am. To participate, please email
[email protected] (English speaker) or call 289 393 044 before May 15.
Meanwhile, a motion for the immediate suspension of tolls on the A22 was passed on May 1 by the Algarve Intermunicipal Assembly, composed by members elected by each of the municipal assemblies in the region.
The assembly approved a proposal by left-wing political party Bloco de Esquerda (BE), with votes in favour by the PS, PCP and BE and some abstentions by the PSD party.
The motion aims to put pressure on the government to suspend the tolls, adding that any solution so far proposed will only serve to aggravate the problem. To justify the request, it reminds the government that the A22 is not technically a motorway, that it was built outside of the SCUTs financing programme and that the largest part of it was constructed with EU funds.
It is clear to Algarve citizens, workers and businesses that there is no future for the region if no urgent and serious measures are taken to abolish the tolls. I.L.