News for Portugal

Mobile mast removed after petition
Portugal Created: 23 Oct 2008
TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES TMN, Optimus and Vodafone have agreed to remove a mobile phone mast in Ferragudo, following protests and a petition signed by more than 1,000 residents and visitors.

Graco Trindade, a spokesman for a commission set up by Ferragudo residents against the mast, said: “The telecommunications operators have promised, in writing, that they will install the antennas in an alternative location.” (See The Resident edition, August 29).

He added: “They have not yet given a date because they first have to carry out studies to find a new location that will not harm anyone.”
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Source: Portugal Resident, 23 Oct 2008

Residents oppose new mobile phone mast plan
Portugal Created: 16 Oct 2008
TAVIRA CÂMARA’S request for TMN to upgrade the quality of the mobile communications signal in Santa Catarina parish by installing a new mast close to some houses has been met by opposition from some local residents.

The inland parish, once abandoned by people who migrated to find a better life in the coastal areas of the Algarve, has in recent years seen an influx of people from the UK, Germany and Holland.

Although the newcomers, and the Portuguese people who stayed, are very nature oriented, they also have modern technology needs.

In response, Tavira Câmara asked TMN, the biggest mobile operator in the country, to improve the signal reception by placing a new mast in the area.

As well as meeting demand, the council hoped that the new facility would ensure a more efficient alert system against fires in the region.

Residents’ commission

Local councillor Fernando Viegas told The Resident that the placement of the antenna was just waiting for licensing from the Câmara when some residents contacted the council to voice their discontent about its location close to their homes.

The project had been submitted for technical analysis and approved by the Algarve development commission, Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento do Algarve (CCDR-Algarve), the national authority on telecommunications, Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações (ANACOM) and the local health delegate.

But some residents, like Claire and Loyd Rozzo, only realised late in September that a 35-metre mast was planned on a plot of land only 60 metres away from their home.

“When returning home, we saw a machine digging up some land,” said Loyd Rozzo, who lives in a refurbished house with his wife and two children.

Although the local parish informed them subsequently about the purpose of the digging, Fernando Viegas said that “no digging had been authorised yet”.

While they say they appreciate the need for such infrastructure in the area, the Rozzos and other residents set up a residents’ commission to ask for a new location for the mast as several eco-tourism projects are scheduled for the parish.

Loyd Rozzo said: “We are not against it. This village is 200 years old and more than 60 people have lived here. We are the new cycle of life.

“If the mast stays in the planned location we will not persist with our investment plans for the area. It makes no sense to invest in eco-friendly tourism projects with the shadow of a mobile phone mast over us.”

Although supportive to the residents’ concerns, Fernando Viegas said that following a meeting last week, a new location is pending on the results of technical and financial studies being carried out by the TMN experts.

In the meantime, a spokesman for TMN told The Resident that the company “believes it will find an alternative solution for the antenna mast relocation” and that “it revealed good will by suspending all works, despite having the planned site approved by all the authorities”.
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Source: Portugal Resident, CECÍLIA PIRES, 16 Oct 2008

Ferragudo residents protest against mobile phone mast
Portugal Created: 28 Aug 2008
MORE THAN 1,000 residents and visitors have signed a petition to ask for the removal of a telecommunications mast that they say has been erected illegally by mobile telephone companies on a tower near residential houses in Ferragudo, in the Lagoa council.

Around 30 residents gathered near the tower on Thursday, August 21, to protest about the situation, hanging black flags and posters of protest from the windows of their houses and cars.

Graco Trindade, a spokesman for the Comissão Dinamizadora do Movimento para Remoção das Antenas da Torre de Atalaia, a commission set up by Ferragudo residents against the mast placed on the historical tower by telephone providers Vodafone Portugal, TMN and Optimus, spoke about the group’s concerns.

“We have been trying to resolve this issue amicably for more than one year but to no avail,” he said. “The owner of the property, a German man named Frank Reinhart, agreed for the telecommunications mast to be put on the roof of the tower without any licences and seems to be getting away with it.”

A statement sent to The Resident by Vodafone Portugal stated that it is “the Câmara’s responsibility to authorise the installation of support structures for radiocomunication stations, according to the decree law, Decreto-Lei nº 11/2003 de 18 de Janeiro”. The statement added that the station in Ferragudo was authorised under article 15 of that same law.

The group has defined three aims: to get the mast removed, for them not to be placed in a residential area of Ferragudo and for Lagoa Câmara to refurbish the tower and classify it as a monument.

“Lagoa Câmara has recognised that the antennas are illegal, but no concrete action has been taken,” said Graco Trindade.

A spokesman from Lagoa Câmara President told The Resident: “We are aware of the situation and are working towards a solution for all of the parties concerned.”

Owner Frank Reinhart has let the tower to a family, who reacted to the demonstration by waving a communist flag at the assembled crowd. The Resident attempted to speak to the family but they did not wish to comment.


Residents who live as close as 15 metres to the tower are also claiming that the radiation from the mast is higher than the recommended level and may be causing an increase in headaches among the population.

Local resident Olga Jordan said: “My daughter suffers from headaches and has had many tests done. I line my children’s bedroom windows at night with tin foil to try and minimise the effects of the radiation.”

In the same statement to The Resident, Vodafone Portugal said: “Vodafone Portugal carried out various measurements of the electromagnetic field in the locality. The results of these measurements concluded that the maximum and medium levels of intensity of the electromagnetic field were significantly below the limit that is recommended by the World Health Organisation.”

On Monday, Graco Trindade told The Resident: “Members of the commission were present on Friday at the inauguration of the Fatacil fair in Lagoa and spoke to the Economy Minister, Manuel Pinho and Lagoa Câmara president, José Eduardo about the issue.”

He added: “We will continue our actions until the mast is removed.”
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Source: Portugal Resident, ELOISE WALTON, 28 Aug 2008

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