Speaking to Lusa, at the end of a protest concentration that gathered this afternoon, in the center of the village of Penacova, a few hundred people, Jorge Neves, from the Spontaneous Citizens Movement (MEC), revealed that it was approved “unanimously” to “en masse” presence of the popular in the next session of the Municipal Assembly. The protesters will also return the water bills to the Mayor.
“The few people who have already received letters with the new invoice are returning them by registered letter to APIN (Intermunicipal Environment Company of Pinhal Interior Norte, a water and sanitation concessionaire in 11 municipalities in Coimbra and Leiria). More than half of the people have not yet received the letters, they should receive this week and one of the approved proposals was to take the invoices to the Municipal Assembly to return them to the mayor (the socialist Humberto Oliveira) ”, explained Jorge Neves.
That citizen added that, being scheduled for the Municipal Assembly – organ chaired by Pedro Coimbra (PS) – two proposals, one from the PSD and the other from the CDU, for the municipality to leave APIN (which is also the main claim of MEC Penacova), the citizens decided to attend the meeting.
In this Sunday's gathering, held in the garden next to the Paços do Concelho building, "to decide a set of proposals for new fights", several representatives of the movement, resident in several parishes of Penacova, but also in the municipalities of Castanheira de Pera (Leiria) and Lousã (Coimbra).
In the initial intervention, Jorge Neves criticized the mayors of the municipalities that are part of the water and sanitation concessionaire: “The people who are power in our municipalities have resigned to look after our interests. (…) They did not care to sacrifice those who were supposed to represent and who impose brutal increases in an essential good such as water ”, he argued.
Commenting on an APIN press conference, held on Friday, to clarify the recent increases in tariffs and referring to a position expressed by the Mayor of Pampilhosa da Serra, José Brito Dias – who said that the mayors of the 11 municipalities “are sad ”by the increase in tariffs -, Jorge Neves expressed his belief in the declaration.
“They said they are not happy and I believe it, because they did not count on the reaction of the people. We are very happy if they leave APIN, in case they don't want to leave and quit ”, urged the MEC Penacova element.
At the press conference on Friday, the mayor of Pampilhosa da Serra said that the municipalities were forced to raise the price of water and that it may be necessary to “make a noise, to make those who decide that we should have a single national tariff” feel ” .
Created in 2018, APIN brings together municipal systems of public water supply, sanitation, urban wastewater and urban waste management in the municipalities of Alvaiázere, Ansião, Castanheira de Pera, Figueiró dos Vinhos, Pedrógão Grande (from the district of Leiria), Góis, Lousã, Pampilhosa da Serra, Penacova, Penela and Vila Nova de Poiares (from the district of Coimbra).
It covers an area of almost 2,000 square kilometers in low-density territories, inhabited by 84,000 inhabitants and with 65,000 dwellings.