“It’s absurd”. Catarina Martins accuses the government of giving in to Vinci at Lisbon Airport

The delay in the construction of the future Greater Lisbon Airport in Montijo continues to cause controversy. This Saturday the leader of the left bloc, Catarina Martins, who opposed this place, came to the conclusion that the government of António Costa is trying to change a law of the republic to “absurd” and “something that is in democracy cannot be accepted “circumvent the veto of the mayor of Montijo.

It is about the recent decision of the National Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) to fail the construction of the new airport in Montijo, as two of the municipalities covered by the new airport (Seixal and Moita) have opposed it.

It is this law that in practice gives municipalities the right to veto the construction of airfields and airports on their territory, but which the government proposed changes approved earlier this week in the Council of Ministers. For its part, the PSD has already shown availability to help the PS change the rules.

“The government tells us that the contract with Vinci is worth more than the law of the Portuguese Republic. The idea that the airport, if it is not built because it cannot afford it, requires compensation and therefore has to be done anyway and the law changed, is an absurd argument, ”says Catarina Martins, referring to the Acquisition of ANA from the French group Vinci, which planned to expand the airport capacity in Lisbon. “The choice of Montijo was made because it was cheaper for Vinci and at the expense of the climate, the country and the population,” emphasized the leader of the blockade.

This Saturday, CDS-PP MP João Gonçalves Pereira told Diário de Notícias that the government was in danger of having to pay Vinci 10 million euros in compensation for changing the location of the new Lisbon airport.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, overseen by Pedro Nuno Santos, reacted immediately in a statement in which it stated that this calculation “is based on incorrect assumptions and that any change in the location of the airport due to the strategic environmental assessment now requested does not require the start of an international public tender or the Paying Compensation to ANA ”. The other place the government now admits is Alcochete.

What is certain is that the Council of Ministers approved a change in the law on Friday that provides that municipalities no longer have the right to veto important projects in the country such as airports. The proposal has yet to be voted on in Parliament.

The new law exempts the construction of airports from the “need for favorable municipal opinions that in this respect correspond to the requirements for road infrastructure” and also guarantees that the opinions of the potentially affected municipalities are affected “either by unobstructed areas”. or for environmental reasons ”are indispensable for local projects.

“If the government intends to change the law in this context, we would be happy to change this law. We disagreed that the law should be changed to help a specific project that would be a bespoke law. Once all the projects are reopened to find out which is the best, it is time to rethink the law, ”PSD boss Rui Rio told reporters last Tuesday after receiving the Competitiveness Forum.

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