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Oil drilling future: ASMAA rolls out “what is planned for 2018”

Campaigning group ASMAA (standing for Algarve Surf and Maritime Activities Association) has wasted no time welcoming in 2018, with the chilling bottom-line: right now the country and its people remain under “very serious threat of offshore and onshore drilling for oil and gas this year”.

Governmental toings and froings may have thrown sand in the eyes of many, but the reality is that powermakers are right behind the oil lobby, says the group’s latest press statement.

“On December 21 2017 when ASMAA’s petition was debated in parliament, the outcome was a massive YES by government to support oil and gas drilling activities, from the south to the north of Portugal.

“This drilling endorsement is also an endorsement for fracking…

“But it is still not too late to try and stop them”, says the group that is entirely self-funding.

“They can be stopped by the courts and by continuous manifestation of the will of the people using a diversified mix of interventions.

“ASMAA wants to use a whole range of smart, targeted tactics to show the Portuguese government that when people say “no”, it means “NO”.

The organisation that has promoted Portugal’s anti-oil message via social media across the world, says it is now going national with its campaign that up till now has been focused on oil fields mapped out in the Algarve.

The focus is not cancellation of the various contracts, but cancellation of the law that underpins them.

“In 2018, we will be focusing on the foundation that supports the contracts, law 109/94 – and we know we have a strong case”.

But the group says it can only roll out its plan if it has the money to pay for it.

“During the past few years it has been the support of people that each week, each month donated the funds we needed to have the impact that we have had.

“To continue to be the massive force for change, we need to increase our efforts even more”.

According to ASMAA’s release, the group needs to know that it will have a minimum of €3,500 in the bank every month.

The legal battles ahead involve seven concessions, all of them at the point where other legal challenges appear to have run out.

“It’s a race against time”, agrees ASMAA’s founder Laurinda Seabra. “If we don’t keep up the pressure, this time next year it could be too late…”

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com