Companies that amañan contracts public, NGO false and timber industry do box
The most affected are small producers, who see disappear your savings
This year has been one of worst in terms of forest fires in Portugal. Last June, a devastating fire in municipality of Pedrógão Grande claimed lives of 64 people, making of 2017 deadliest year of history of neighboring country in this regard.
The material damage and landscape have also been significant, as confirmed by European Information System on Forest Fires: more than half of territory that has burned in Europe during past nine months has been to luso. The Institute for Conservation of Nature and Forests of Portugal points out that it has burnt down more ground in this country so far this year than in previous decade. A few 12.377 fires that have been ravaging 213.986 hectares (ha), a figure that is almost four times 61.874 has burned in Spain in same period.
The compassion which give rise to se disasters shows charity of citizenry. But, among so much chaos, re are also some who take advantage, doing safe in midst of disaster. amañan public contests, divert funds solidarity and, in last instance, is taking advantage legally of situation, by applying predatory prices to homeless and doing business with miseries of ors.'sign of fire'
In crucial moments of a macro forest fire, air support is essential. Portugal, being a relatively small country, incapable of maintaining a fleet that can respond to all fires each summer, draws on private sector. The problem arises when companies conspire to manipulate public tenders, a crime that Judicial Police lusa believed to have been committed by branch Portuguese of well-known poster-fire Spanish.
The investigation of PJ confirms information put forward by THE WORLD a year ago: domestic companies amañaron public contests in Spain, Portugal and Italy.
According to court sources, in Portugal poster was a coordinator, native who, over last 12 years, could have rigged public contracts by value of 821 million euros. The price, obviously inflated by many of awards, gave rise to an investigation by Court of Auditors to Portuguese.
In weeks after tragedy of Pedrógão Grande, tens of thousands of Portuguese and organizations, such as La Caixa Foundation and Aga Khan, donated a million euros to affected. Initiatives such as concert in solidarity Toger For All, starring Salvador Sobral and Ana Moura, generated more than a million euros in donations.Donations missing
however, two months later, residents of Pedrógão Grande have complained that aid money came in dribs and drabs and that was being managed in a manner so disorderly that some families have received funds in duplicate, while ors are still waiting.
Valdemar Alves, president of Municipal council of village affected, denounces to THE WORLD lack of information and pressing need to know where it was to stop money raised. "The large foundations have controlled, but we are concerned about small entities". Therefore, it calls for an investigation: "I have Not slightest doubt that some have created NGO false".
Among farmers of interior of country, most affected are small producers of wooden. Are small forest owners who grow eucalyptus and pine trees, and provide large producers of paper and furniture, two leading sectors in economy lusa.
At 65, Domingo Luis has lived as a small producer in Pedrógão. Although fortunately his house was not affected by fire this summer, among 64.000 hectares that burned was his parcel of 1,000 pine trees.
The burnt wood is used to make furniture. But, if not processed quickly, it is unusable
"Here, in interior, it is normal to have this kind of property," explains Luis. And he added, "in time of having money in bank, invest it and see it grow." Ensures that producers loggers would have been paid between 20,000 and 25,000 euros for its thousand pine trees. When flames reached his plot, that value was burned. "That wood is still used to make furniture, but once you turn on tree it begins to degrade quickly. If it is not sold and processed in three months, it ends up being unusable".
Luis and or farmers of area who were consulted by this newspaper y claim that timber industry has taken advantage of this situation: we are aware of that small producers need to sell wood urgently or risk being without any benefit after years of cultivation, only offer now purchase land from for prices abusively reduced.
"We paid 37 euros per ton of healthy wood. Now we don't offer more than 28 euros for burned. They know y have no choice but to sell it. It is law of supply and demand, but led to a field very cruel," explains farmer.
Pedro Serra Ramos, president of National Association of Forestry Companies, Agriculture and Environment (Anefa), you acknowledge that prices have fallen steeply. "The Government has not been interested in regulating this sector, so that lack an infrastructure to prevent this type of abuse. In his time, proposed establishment of a fixed price for this kind of situations. The industry did everything possible for man to ground, because do not want to price standards and prefer to work with producers one-on-one".
And he concluded: "There is a clear business cause se fires, and a lot of people-among m, those who buy burned wood for a reduced price - y earn a lot with it. There are fires in Portugal because some earn money with m."