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Ria Formosa on tense demolitions countdown

The tense countdown for a new round of demolitions in Ria Formosa is on.

Despite every effort by left wing allies of the government, there has been no chink in the resolve to demolish 81 homes in the communities of Farol and Hangares.

Even though Environment Minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes said last week that he would be making adjustments to the plan, islanders have since “heard nothing”.

For now, October 27 is the day earmarked for the first “home seizures”.

A “public court” promoted by the PCP communist party in Olhão last Saturday heard all the reasons why this is “completely unjust”.

From the fact that arguments given are “bogus”, to the insinuations that demolitions are all making way for so-called “high quality, sustainable tourism”, anyone taking part in the morning will be under no illusions. Islanders feel they are being attacked for the simple fact that they cannot defend themselves.

But does this mean they will give up? “Not a chance”, said a source for SOS Ria Formosa.

In fact, the campaign’s Facebook page is today appealing for people to stand beside them when they face-off against authorities on D-Day (October 27).

“We are going to show our indignation to the world”, says the post. “We are going to show how some people here treat their public. We are going to show the world how we will not let ourselves be humiliated”.

“Everyone is invited”, the message concludes, warning people that access to the islands could well be restricted on the 27th, as authorities plan to ‘take over’ properties at 9am.

The last time a scenario like this happened, islanders saw off boats intending to take possession of their homes, with the aid of court orders. These have since been “repealed” by higher Lisbon courts, which the islanders say are in cahoots with the desires of the government.