British Farmer, Patrick Wardle, has started proceedings to recover his 1,200 acre farm which was seized by a group of 50 Portuguese farm workers on Sunday (19 October).
MV Mr. and Mrs. Wardle walking to Agrarian Reform centre.
CU sign on building.
MCU British farmer.
MV farm workers talking to officials (2 shots)
CU British document.
CU interview with British Farmer
MV through car showing groups of farmers standing guard.
MV & CU armed farmers standing watch (4 shots).
GV farmers sheltering under tree.
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 6: REPORTER: "Are you forming vigilante groups?"
FARMER: "Vigilante? Not quite but we've tried talking and talking doesn't work so the farmers have to protect their properties."
REPORTER: "Would they be prepared to use force?"
FARMER: "Yes, I think they would. Yes definitely. I do not think they want to use force, but it may be necessary to use force."
Initials MV/1745 1230/1330/1810
(This film is serviced with part of an interview with one of the British farmers from the Campo Maior area. A transcript follows:
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: British Farmer, Patrick Wardle, has started proceedings to recover his 1,200 acre farm which was seized by a group of 50 Portuguese farm workers on Sunday (19 October).
Mr. Wardle on Monday (20 October) visited the Elves branch of the Portuguese Agrarian Reform Administration and talked to Britain's Ambassador to Portugal, Nigel Trench, by telephone.
Mr. Trench is urgently seeking meetings with Portugal's foreign and agriculture minister in an attempt to clarify the situation.
Mr. Wardle, his wife and his seven-year-old son were given 30 minutes to leave the farmhouse where they have lived for the past two and a half years, when the group of workers invaded the property at Campo Maior, about 120 miles from Lisbon.
The incident is now seen as a test case for the Land Reform and Company Nationalisation Act passed in Portugal earlier this year.
Foreign farms and firms are exempt from State Intervention under the forms of the Act.
The few foreign farmers around Mr. Wardle--three British, one branch, and two Spanish--are now extremely worried about their property. There are also another 12 British owned farms to the south in the Alentejo plains region.
Mr. Wardle is also trying to get Portuguese Army help to recover the personal belongings he left behind..but so far local military commanders say they have no power to authorise any such action.
The British farmer's neighbours are planning to take matters into their own hands.
They've formed small groups to stand guard around their properties, and say they will use force to repel any invasions.