Assumption Crests in Monchique guarantees that it did not encourage the planting of eucalyptus

Assunção Cristas, accompanied by regional CDS leaders, visited Monchique and Alferce today

Photo: Alexandra Delgado | Monchique newspaper

Assunção Cristas, president of the CDS/PP, guaranteed today, in Monchique, that he did not encourage the planting of eucalyptus while he was Minister of Agriculture, from 2011 to 2015. 

The centrist leader met this Tuesday morning, 28 August, with Rui André, mayor of Monchique, for about 45 minutes. Then, at around 11:00 am, she went to Alferce, where she visited the areas burned by the fire and spoke to journalists, who questioned her about her responsibility for planting eucalyptus.

“I have to say, for the umpteenth time, that I have not lifted [the] restrictions on planting eucalyptus. What I did was to create an information system that did not exist: the RJAAR, Legal Regime for Afforestation and Reforestation, which allows us to know today what was not known at the time," said Cristas.

The CDS leader explained that this regime "does not cover all that are investments supported by community funds so as not to double the reporting by farmers."

«All investments supported by native species are included in the PDR2020 and did not appear in the RJAAR. The idea would then be to bring the two information systems together so that we have the complete picture», said Assunção Cristas.

At the time, this RJAAR was seen as a regime that liberalized the planting of eucalyptus, a highly combustible species. It was, in fact, in an area densely populated with these trees that the Monchique fire started, on the Perna Negra.

On this visit to Monchique, Assunção Cristas also defended that there is still some clarification about the fire to be given. The leader wants to know, for example, why “it took seven days to put out” the fire.

According to the leader, it is necessary to know "what failed in the attack" on the rekindling and "how things got out of control."

Cristas also wants clarification on the support given to those affected by the fire. In Pedrógão, he argued, the support “resulted, in the majority, from the generosity of the Portuguese”, but in Monchique, “there are no such donations”.

“The rules will be different and it will perhaps be the State that will provide the money. We do not find it understandable how in a case they do not have to pay any of their money and, in this case, they will have to.'

Cristas also said that the CDS/PP will be "at the forefront" of clarification on what happened in Monchique.

(Updated at 16:13 pm, with more statements from Assunção Cristas).