Mayor reannounces grand plan for Faro's riverside

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rogerioBacalhauFaro’s Mayor, Rogério Bacalhau, announced that he is to push ahead with his masterplan to develop the city's riverside area and to replace the commercial docks with a new marina .

Bacalhau was speaking at the opening ceremony for Faro’s ‘city day,’ attended by the Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino and took the opportunity to relaunch existing plans for a seafront promenade, recreational docks and the conversion of the commercial port.

The mayor clearly is in no hurry as, "much studying needs to be completed," after which the Council needs to find a company to fund the plan. This will take “a few years,” admitted Bacalhau who guessed that the work to transform the commercial port into a new marina, "will cost around €120 million and will create about 1,000 jobs."

The mayor claims that the interest of ‘several investors' has been aroused by the marina project, the use of a nearby area designated for nautical activities and ??the building of a maritime research centre.

Ana Paula Vitorino was all for this project as it turns a working commercial port area into a tourist facility, leaving old links to the sea as merely, ‘symbolic.’

The Minister later travelled west to show her face in Sagres at the Spearfishing World Championships where, uncomfortably, she was confronted by members of the 'Parar Petróleo Vila do Bispo" protest group which is against drilling for oil off the coast at Aljezur, or anywhere else in Portugal's sea or land.

Vitorino said the Galp-ENI oil concession contract was nothing to do with her ministry and that, anyway, the contracts has been signed by a previous government.

The Minister for the Sea was handed and accepted a letter that demanded her resignation, claiming that she was not defending the oceans at all and was pursuing short-term goals, aiding the oil companies and not working in the public interest.

Vitorino’s claim that her ministry was not involved lies awkwardly with the fact that is it her ministry that is using taxpayers’ money to challenge the recent decision in Loulé Court that all test drilling activity by the Galp-ENI consortium, be suspended.

Ana Paula Vitorino famously was caught on camera in the US, pushing Portugal as an oil producing nation and searching for new oil companies to take on exploration concessions at a time when a public consultation on oil drilling was in progress, the result of which, suspiciously, she seemed certain of.


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