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Interviews

Think global. Act local.

Think global. Act local.

ECO123 met Vítor Aleixo (aged 64), the Mayor of Loulé, in the corridor of the Town Hall at 8:45 am. He approaches us and takes a bunch of keys from his pocket. He finds the right key, opens the large door and invites us to go into his office. We want to know how he manages the political balance between the tourism economy and climate change. Good morning, Mayor. What does a politician need to bring to his role, in order to strengthen trust in the democratic system? A politician has to uphold ethical principles and values ​​of respect for …

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António Vieira da Silva

António Vieira da Silva
A citizen has the right to live with the minimum

The former Minister of Labour (68) considers the unconditional basic income (BGE) to be an exciting and challenging topic, but it is more a utopia than a reality. José António Vieira da Silva, supports a social model governed by the right to work and the entitlement to the corresponding retirement subsidy, and he fears that the introduction of the UBI model, which has been widely disseminated, could create a ‘bipolar’ society divided into two classes. ECO123: Last year, the one hundredth anniversary of the creation of this ministry was celebrated. Would the introduction of the UBI be a good way …

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to be or to have

TO BE or TO HAVE

Do you look for solutions at Karuna? Yes, yes. That’s why we built it in 1992. It can give us solutions, it can receive solutions. This is not a closed space. It can receive too. What will be happening here this year? We organise silent retreats. If people feel that they haven’t changed internally, Karuna will help to look inside, to be certain about what we are doing, to be correct. Would you like to tell us a story from your childhood? Yes, I would. It’s a story that I guard closely, a story between me and my father. My …

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The Trigger of Happiness?

Can culture change our habits? I believe in the transformative power of art. Why? Because the arts have the capacity to divert people from the norm, from normality, and, by going through a different experience they might want to repeat it. An artistic project also provides intuition, sensibility, the capacity to escape from this more materialistic way of seeing things. My intention is to offer artistic objects of great quality to people who have other cultures and who approach this artistic culture in order to draw incredible dividends from it for their everyday lives and for their inner selves. That …

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Theodor W. Adorno: There is no right life in the wrong one

Over the last few decades, tourism has become increasingly important to society, with an inevitable impact on the most visited tourist regions. Initially, they saw improvements in working and social conditions, and now they benefit from increased mobility and accessibility. But can tourism be sustainable, or at least contribute to sustainability? João Fernandes, president of the Algarve Tourism Board (RTA), which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2020, believes that sustainable tourism is possible and explains why. But do we still have time? The rapid growth in tourism has outstripped the implementation of decarbonisation technologies. How do you view this issue? …

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Nature Reserve destroyed by avocado plantation

Clive Viney is the co-author (with Ray Tipper) of the book “Algarve Wildlife: The Natural Year.” As a nature lover and a long-term resident of Tavira, he is alarmed at the erosion of land and the destruction of natural habitats in the nature reserve near Castro Marim. Part of the Reserve has been given over to “the latest fad of avocado planting”. He is asking questions and demanding answers from IICNF (Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests), SPEA ( Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds) and other agencies. His actions have prompted the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment to …

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How we can prevent forest fires

I was born in Goa, India – Domingos Xavier Viegas opens a conversation with ECO123 in the publisher’s garden. I am a Portuguese citizen and I came with my parents and three sisters to Portugal in 1957. My parents wanted to give us a higher education and understood that this would not be easy if we stayed in Goa. My father was a civil servant, and he sensed that India wanted to annex Goa, so he decided to come to Portugal. We left Goa in 1957 and in 1961 it was taken by the Indian Union. After that, I went …

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The commitment?

Witnesses and experts of the catastrophe that struck Monchique a year ago were heard at the public hearing in Monchique on August 3rd. One of the goals of those present, amongst whom was Rui Lopes, commander of firefighters, married and father of two, was to re-examine the failures of 2018. “Commitment” was the keyword of his speech. Please explain to us the meaning of the word “commitment”(compromisso). It can have several meanings: agreement, obligation or debt. When we talk about forest fires there has to be an agreement, a commitment on the part of all those taking part in the …

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The legacy I will leave to my children is whatever is left by the mine

Covas do Barroso, Chaves. Over the past few years, a teacher living in England from Covas do Barroso, Trás-os-Montes, has swapped Portuguese and English books for the Mining Journal, lithium market reports and the minutes of international mining conferences. Catarina Scarrott, a mother of two children aged 2 and 7, fights passionately for the land on which her family has lived for more than ten generations. This is the land to which she would like to return, were it not for the lack of access and services. This is the land that British company Savannah Resources wants to gut in …

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How do you break free?

Once you know your tipping point… Kathi Heusel, a holistic coach from Austria, and Bart Delember, a Belgian kite-surf-instructor, both in their mid-thirties, are living in the Western Algarve. One day, they reached their tipping point regarding the gigantic amount of plastic waste in the ocean and in their day-to-day life. Finding it unacceptable to see how much garbage, and especially how much plastic, is currently floating in the ocean – they decided they actively wanted to live their lives in a different way. Most people probably feel the same, says Kathi Heusel in a conversation with ECO123. But what …

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