Wednesday, March 15, 2023



 Behind this week’s headlines

Iberian summit

Portugal and Spain are holding their 34th Iberian summit meeting today, Wednesday, in Lanzarote. Topics on the agenda will range from European Union issues and cross-border strategies to cultural affairs. A dozen agreements are expected to be signed, reports Luca News.

Civil servants strike

Participation in the strike by civil servants planned for Friday will be “massive”, the leader of the Common Front of civil service trade unions has predicted. Disruption is expected in central and local administrations, as well as in healthcare and education.

Residence permits

The new portal for immigrants from Portuguese-speaking countries seeking residence permits from the immigration and border service (SEF) received a deluge of applicants. More than 6,300 registered within the first two hours of operation, the government announced on Monday. Most applications are thought to have come from Brazilians. A reconstruction of SEF is to be completed between the end of March and the first days of April.

Suspending priests

The Bishop of Beja has said “there is no place for abusers in the priesthood.” This came after he apologised for saying priests suspected of sexual abuse should be forgiven if they are repentant. However, some bishops are still demanding hard evidence to proceed with suspensions. This has been criticised by Portugal’s president.

Mediterranean tragedy

“There is still a lot of work to do together” to find solutions,” said Portugal foreign minister, referring to the intensification of illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean from North, which he described as “a tragedy.”

Housng shortage

The government has a number of key proposals to combat the current housing shortage for Portuguese residents. They are to be discussed and approved by the cabinet between 16 and 30 March.

Maddie McCann claim

The young woman making headlines around the world by claiming to be Madeleine McCann has submitted samples for three different forensic examinations to try and establish if she is indeed the person who disappeared from Praia da Luz in 2007. Having left Poland because of death threats, she is in the United States under the care of a private investigator, Dra Fra Johansson, who says the DNA test results may be passed to the judicial police in Portugal.

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