According to the mayor of the municipality, Hélder Guerreiro, since the beginning of the process of legalizing accommodation on farms, 18 Removable Temporary Accommodation Facilities (IATA) have already been approved, “but there are some that are still illegal in the territory”.
“The Government, the Chamber and all entities, [among them] the Natural Park [of Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina], made an extraordinary effort to find legislation for these accommodation solutions for temporary workers”, he said.
However, and although there are companies that also made “an extraordinary investment effort” to install IATAS on their farms, there are others that “did not even make that investment”, he explained.
For the mayor, companies that "did not want to legalize themselves" are "competing completely unfair and illegal competition".
“The Minister [of Agriculture] already knows this, the Secretary of State knows this and we have already stated several times, at the regular meeting we have in the Mira project group, that we will act judicially in this regard”, he revealed.
According to Hélder Guerreiro, who was speaking to journalists at the Cultural and Economic Activities Fair of the municipality of Odemira (FACECO), the investment in IATAS for around 150 workers represents an investment of over one million euros.
Questioned about resorting to the courts to put an end to illegal temporary accommodation, socialist Hélder Guerreiro assured that the municipality will demand the demolition of what has been built.
"They didn't want to legalize, they didn't legalize themselves and, for now, some of them that are not even able, according to the law, to be in that place have to leave there", stressed the mayor, giving the example of an exploration in the parish of Zambujeira do Mar, "a clear and unequivocal case" of illegality.
The installation of temporary accommodation on farms is one of the measures provided for in a resolution by the Council of Ministers and in the agreements signed between the Government, agricultural companies and the Municipality of Odemira to resolve the issue of housing for seasonal workers.