“No time or money” to investigate alternatives to Montijo as Lisbon’s second airport

Montijo airport study probed for “falsification of documents, abuse of power and corruption”

After all the dissenting voices pointing to corruption, Sábado online has confirmed that PJ police are investigating the ‘green light’ given by government agencies ANA and the ICNF to a second Lisbon passenger terminal at Montijo (click here).

At issue, explain reports “are the eventual crimes of falsification of documents, abuse of power and corruption”.

So far, searches have taken place in offices of ANA/ ICNF and a company of lawyers.

Recalls the online, ANA gave the project its ‘conditional go-ahead’ late last year, confirming it finally in January this year.

The conditions involved a list of 160 requirements which ANA airports authority complained would cost it around €48 million.

But environmental NGOs were aghast at the decision – even with the mitigating measures cited – saying it would have devastating environmental effects that could never be recovered (click here).

Eight of them (Almargem, ANP/WWF, A Rocha, FAPAS, Geota, LPN, SPEA and ZERO) claimed the study “disrespected national laws, European directives and international treaties”. They initiated legal proceedings.

But it has been civic platform BA6-Montjo Não which has always pointed to ‘behind-the-scenes’ skullduggery.

Indeed, the platform’s José Encarnação has been at pains to expose what he believes has been the government “decisively conditioning” ANA’s approach – to the extent that it “altered the contract of concession without letting the Portuguese people know” and essentially changed rules and undermined a process that should have been independent of executive power.

Readers may recall that the government has always said ‘there is no more time to waste’/ no more time to consider any other options (click here). “There is no Plan B”, said prime minister António Costa famously last year – a man whose executive has suddenly become marked by a compulsion to rule by decree.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com