Protest march for the Lobo Marinho
Ferry protest: Every year in January, Porto Santo is without sea connection to Madeira as the ferry undergoes its annual maintenance. The movement “More Porto Santo” is calling for a replacement service to cover this period, particularly as the exact date of its return is not always known.
Councillor José Antonio Castro points out: “At this moment, we only know that the last trip between the islands took place on January 3. We do not know when the ferry will return, a situation at least inconceivable and bizarre. We have nothing against the operator who owns the ferry line concession, but it is the same every year, without a replacement ship, that will safeguard the economy and tourism of Porto Santo through passenger mobility”.
Inhabitants of Porto Santo can travel by plane to Madeira for the price of a sea connection, however the Councillor believes that cost for Madeirans to travel to Porto Santo are prohibitive – “a real attack, since a fifteen-minute trip costs almost double compared to a Funchal / Lisbon connection. This has serious consequences for our economy, for us, from Porto Santo, who live a month in January (and a few days in February) isolated from the World”.
For the leader of the movement of independent citizens, there is a solution to this eternal problem, but it is dependent on the political will of those who govern the destinies of the Region. “Except in exceptional cases, especially caused by bad weather, the public service has to be safeguarded in all circumstances and maritime connections have to be carried out all year round because it is of vital importance for the economy of Porto Santo and excludes isolation” .
José António Castro also claimed that “The Regional Government must assume this responsibility and move forward with decisions, because Porto Santo is also a territory of the Autonomous Region of Madeira”. A protest march against the absence of the ferry was organised by the group last Sunday.