Release from the PCP Press Office

PCP’s solidarity to the victims of the fires

In view of the fires that in recent days have devastated important areas from north to south of the country, and which have already destroyed thousands of hectares of forests and undergrowth, affected dozens of homes, caused considerable damage to farms, annual crops and permanent crops, affecting incomes for a long time, as well as companies and public infrastructure, and apart from a more elaborate later position, the PCP expresses most heartfelt solidarity with all the victims of these tragic events and deep appreciation for all the agents involved in the combat, from the outset to those who were also victims of accidents in this context.

As it is not yet time for assessments and final analyses, and in addition to the adverse weather conditions in which the fires develop, the PCP cannot fail to underline the denunciation it has made regarding its background, in which dozens of years right-wing policies, which promoted the neglect and contempt for the rural world, for the interior and for the forest, of devaluation of small and medium agriculture and livestock husbandry, weakening all the structures that should defend them, leading to depopulation and the aging of the population, dismantling public services and destroying thousands of jobs.

A policy that, as far as the forest is concerned, did not respond, not even after the fires of 2003, 2005 and 2017, from which abundant reports and legislation resulted, to the central problems of valorising the price of wood, the creation of 500 teams of Forest Rangers foreseen in Legislation, the promotion of territorial planning and the investment in native species, the preparation of the Forest Registry, which continues to lag behind, or the balance in the distribution of public aid to help the regions where the forest is more present.

A policy in which the lack of means and measures makes the interests of economic groups prevail in forest and territorial planning to the detriment of collective interests in terms of civil protection, defence of national production and regional development.

A policy that, in terms of Civil Protection, continues to register a lack of coordination and dispersal of resources, and does not respond to one of its fundamental pillars, the firefighters, not ensuring their own national command, not guaranteeing stable funding and meets the current increase in fuel costs, which is placing many Associations in a particularly serious financial situation, not establishing investment programming legislation, which directs them to where they are most needed.

Five years after the 2017 fires, the PCP draws particular attention to the fact that, despite the announcements, programmes, propaganda operations and legislation produced, the areas that burned at the time, and particularly the Leiria National Forest, are in the same or worse circumstances than at the time, which says a lot about the failure of the Government's policies in this matter.

In view of the obvious scale of the damages and impacts on the territory, the PCP, which has already questioned the European Commission regarding the means that can be made available to support our Country and regarding the structural measures to prevent these situations, will present, in the Assembly of the Republic, proposals that ensure the application of victim support criteria similar to those provided for in the Law to Support the 2017 Fire Victims, adopted based on an initial proposal by the PCP, as well as a proposal to guarantee immediate procedures concerning the stabilisation of emergency.

The PCP, calling on the populations to adopt, at all times, behaviours that avoid risk situations, rejects the position of individual blame that both the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic have been voicing in recent days. The central problem lies in the political options and the means associated with them. We know very well what the weather conditions were during these days, but we also know that the weather always shoulders the blame. Had the Government learned from the lessons of 2017 and had accepted the proposals that the PCP presented at the time and since then, we would have been in better conditions to face this situation.

  • Economia e Aparelho Produtivo
  • Segurança das Populações
  • Central
  • bombeiros
  • floresta
  • protecção cívil