Lisbon Municipal Assembly approves motions to suspend “expropriations” of the Metropolitan – Observer
This Tuesday, the Municipal Assembly of Lisbon approved motions by IL and the PSD on the temporary vacancy of three properties within the scope of the Metropolitano’s circular line project, including a suspension of the “expropriation” process.
The proposals were approved with votes against the PS municipal group, with socialist deputy Luís Coelho considering the current debate “on the temporary expropriations of the Metro”, at IL’s request, “an attempt to political advantage”, including “Put on the agenda the theme of the expansion of the subway lines and the geometric shape they should have”.
IL deputy Miguel Ferreira da Silva opened the debate in the Municipal Assembly asking for “the guerrilla of partisanship to be put aside”, because the discussion wouldn’t be about the circular line design, “Whether it’s in line, in bow or polka dots”, but about as “temporary expropriations” and the defense of citizens’ interests, in which there was “abuse of public powers” by the Metropolitano de Lisboa company.
Miguel Ferreira da Silva criticized the lack of dialogue with residents and the affected merchants and the “profound incompetence” of participation by the public transport company, considering the decision to start expropriating properties on January 3 as “inhumane at least”, which coincides with the week of contact containment due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
From the municipal group of the PSD, which presented a motion “Expropriations of the Metropolitano de Lisboa – an example not to be followed” and who also voted in favor of the IL proposal, Luís Newton defended the need to have information about the process of vacating property, explaining that the initiative of the Social Democrats arises precisely because of this: “it is unacceptable not to know”.
Luís Newton accused the independent deputy of Cidadãos por Lisboa (elected by the PS / Livre coalition) of “huge hypocrisy” Miguel Graça for refusing to take a position on the motions for “lack of information”, saying: “When we don’t know, we don’t put our own communities at risk”.
Choosing to abstain, Miguel Graça rejected voting “on the basis of guesses”, per not provide data about the process, including housing alternatives and prepayment of costs, and underscored the importance of guaranteeing the protection of rights to housing, property and place, implementing a requirement for the Municipal Assembly to request information from the Metropolitan.
Make CDS-PP, which voted in favor of both motions, Margarida Penedo stated that “Metro did what it wanted to do and abused and did not want to know about the citizens”, attributions to the PS Government and to the previous executive council, led by the socialist Fernando Medina.
With a vote in favor of the PSD’s motion and the abstention of the IL proposal, the deputy of BE Isabel Pires criticized the “stubbornness” on the part of the Government to proceed with a line circular, reiterating that “this process must be suspended”.
In favor of the two motions, the PEV municipal group, through the voice of deputy Cláudia Madeira, shared the concerns expressed about the evictions and considered it to be “a poorly conducted process that demonstrates a great lack of sensitivity”.
From the PCP, which also voted in favor of two initiatives, Fernando Correia said that “concern for people must come first” and the process of evicting properties “is, at the very least, an act of great social insensitivity”.
Also the deputies of PAN, MPT and Chega voted in favor of the two proposals, while the Free party abstained from both motions.
With IL’s motion, the Lisbon Municipal Assembly adopts “a firm position of repudiation of Metropolitano’s attitude and lack of publicity”, since the situation “causes serious social and economic damage to affected citizens”, and urges the Government to exercise “effective guardianship” over the transport company, including for “the immediate suspension of the announced possession, under the temporary expropriation, scheduled for January 3, 2022”.
The motion of the municipal deputies of the PSD proposes that the Ministry of the Environment be urged to “suspend the procedure of expropriations until the support mechanisms are ensured so that these take place in order to weaken the damage to the affected families”.
According to information provided by the company, the owners of the three fractions that will be “temporarily occupied” by Metropolitano de Lisboa, due to the circular line project, have already signed an agreement, available 20 waiting to do so, involving a compensation of 125 thousand euros.
In response to the Lusa agency, Metropolitano de Lisboa explained that the need to vacate the properties arises within the scope of the expansion project for the creation of the circular line and the construction of the new Estrela and Santos stations, in which “technical inspections were carried out at several buildings, having been detected hypotheses needing an in-depth analysis”.
The situation encompasses three properties in the parish of Estrela, in which “33 units were identified to be temporarily occupied”, the company informed.