The best and the worst

Dear Editor,
‘Slavery in the Alentejo’ by reader Frank McClintock (May 13, 2021 edition) tells it all. Well done!

We are used to nothing but praise for the Algarve. The best place in the world to retire, the best beaches, the best golf courses, the best weather, et cetera, et cetera.

Neighbour Alentejo is almost as good. However, how on earth is it possible that more and more plantations, both legal and illegal (!), are erected in a protected nature area?

Yes, in the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina (PNSACV).

Why is the President of Odemira allowing those increasing numbers of soft fruit plantations? Is he perhaps feasting on free berries?

And why has the Portuguese government been sleeping? Sure thing they know, for many years, of the shame and scandal. That includes the slavery.

As one other reader told me: “Is that the worst that ever happened in Portugal? And he added: ‘you know, this country is a banana republic’. He did not refer to bananas from Madeira.”

By the way Frank McClintock, the PNSACV is not only ‘north of the Algarve’. It runs from S. Torpes, south of Sines, Alentejo, all the way down into the Algarve West coast, the Costa Vicentina.

And east of Sagres, part of the Algarve’s southcoast belongs to it, as far as Burgau.

Algarve Resident, keep up your excellent work.

Michiel Van Dam
By email