“On yer bike”, Portuguese government tells employees

In such a transparent vote-catching announcement that it can only serve to backfire in spades, the Portuguese government has announced that it is recommending staff “try cycling” to work to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save money on gas.

Failing to grasp that it is the politicians, not their staff, who are most to blame for harmful emissions, the news follows reports that high-rankers clinched their habitually swanky new Audis and BMWs less than a year ago, at the cost of well over €1 million.

Since that time, another small fortune was shelled out on 34 new cars for members of the Cabinet.

But all that appears to have been forgotten in yesterday’s proud announcement that the government plans to invest in a fleet of 1200 electric cars and “stimulate public sector workers” to leap on to bicycles.

Presumably court workers who found their jobs shunted hundreds of kilometres in last year’s “redrawing of the judicial map” will be exempt from this ambitious plan – if only in the interests of ensuring that violent criminals are not left at large to terrorise workers as they pedal for their lives to and from State department offices.

Who knows what’s in store, as this is the silly season where politicians say anything to cling on to power.

All we are being told for certain is that Eco.mob (presumably standing for Ecological mobility) will cost €41.5 million and “potentially result” in the savings of €50 million.

Included in the plan is a scheme to extend rapid-recharge outlets for the country’s electric vehicles – most of which will be owned by the government.

In other words, don’t be surprised if Portugal’s electorate is unimpressed by Eco.mob.

You may even hear jeers of “on yer bike…” and they will certainly not be aimed at public sector workers.

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