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Archive for Portugal

Newsline: Chinese embassy in Lisbon removes CCTV camera

Surveillance cameras installed at the Chinese Embassy in Portugal’s capital Lisbon were removed or repositioned on Thursday after concerns of a “blatant violation of privacy” were raised by residents. Three large 360-degrees surveillance cameras were installed around the consular section two months ago, a resident who wished to remain anonymous told Reuters in December, saying they were concerned they might be able to film apartments buildings and public roads. Five other residents Reuters spoke to this month also said they were concerned the cameras might be able to film apartment buildings. Portugal’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday it had asked relevant authorities to evaluate whether the surveillance cameras complied with the rules. Portuguese law states surveillance cameras cannot point at properties or public roads and must “only capture what is strictly necessary to cover accesses to the property”. (https://neuters.de/world/chinese-embassy-lisbon-faces-scrutiny-over-surveillance-cameras-2023-01-19/) Portugal’s National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) said on Dec. 27 it would reach out to the embassy to clarify the situation. On Thursday, shortly after Reuters reported the complaints, one camera was removed and the other two were no longer facing outside of the embassy. It was not immediately clear whether the move was linked to the complaints or any intervention by Portuguese authorities. The embassy did not reply to requests for comment. The Chinese Foreign Ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Newsline: Portuguese Embassy in China on a “race” to secure medical equipment

The Portuguese ambassador in Beijing admitted to being in a “race against time” to guarantee vital medical equipment in the fight against the epidemic of the new coronavirus, at a time of strong increase in demand worldwide. “We want to fight for our citizens and have the capacity to comply with our obligation. The problem is that the world is here all over,” said José Lúcio José Augusto Duarte, on the sidelines of a commemorative meeting of the donation of almost four million euros. in medical equipment by EDP and its Chinese shareholder, the state-owned China Three Gorges (CTG), to the Portuguese Ministry of Health. Sunday morning EDP and CTG delivered 50 fans, 200 medical monitors and other equipment to the Portuguese embassy in Beijing, which will now be sent to Portugal. Recalling that the amount offered “is not a joke”, Augusto Duarte revealed that CTG was the first company in the Asian country to offer help to the Portuguese authorities. (https://www.macaubusiness.com/portuguese-embassy-in-china-on-a-race-to-secure-medical-equipment/) The supply comes at a time when the world’s ‘stocks’ have shown to be insufficient for high demand, as the disease spreads throughout the world, causing more than 31 thousand deaths and paralyzing entire countries.

Newsline: Portuguese gov’t expresses “deep regret” over Russian ambassador’s death

The Portuguese government expressed on Wednesday “deep regret” over the death of the Russian ambassador in Lisbon on Tuesday, describing him as “an exemplary diplomat” who contributed to the deepening of relations between Portugal and Russia. “It was with deep regret that the Portuguese government took note of the tragic death of the Russian Federation’s ambassador to Portugal, Oleg Belous,” said a statement released by Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva also sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Serguei Lavrov to express the condolence over the ambassador’s death. The Foreign Ministry said in the statement that Oleg Belous was an “exemplary diplomat” who “put with great mastery his long experience and unusual professional and personal qualities in the service of strengthening the relationship between Portugal and Russia.” Russian ambassador to Lisbon Oleg Belous died “suddenly” on Tuesday at the age of 66, according to the announcement of the Russian embassy in Portugal. Oleg Belous had been working at the Russian embassy in Portugal since 2013.


Newsline: Suspected arson at Portugal’s embassy in Sweden

Swedish authorities are investigating a large fire that broke out at the Portuguese embassy in central Stockholm on Wednesday. The fire is being treated as arson according to the Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva. “Everything points to an isolated act from a disturbed person who demanded to speak with the official in charge of the portuguese consular service. His demand was accepted but before they could speak he acted criminally by starting a fire and then running away.” said Silva in a televised statement from Lisbon. According the police 14 people received medical assistance after the fire and two were taken to hospital for smoke inhalation though none are believed to be in a serious condition. Police have now arrested a man linked to the investigation but will not comment on his role.


Newsline: Police suspect arson after fire at Stockholm embassy building injures 14

Police in Stockholm have arrested a man on suspicion of arson after a fire at an embassy building injured 14 people. The alarm was raised about the fire at the Narvavägen building housing the embassies of Portugal, Tunisia, Argentina and Belgium as well as apartments and a restaurant at around lunchtime on Wednesday afternoon. “The operation is still ongoing. Around 14 people have been affected by the fire, with no serious injuries but smoke and minor injuries,” Stockholm police press spokesperson Kjell Lindgren told The Local. “The latest information from the fire fighters is that there’s no one left in the building, but they’re still working to extinguish the fire in the apartment section.” Lindgren said police were looking to speak to a person who they “think could have something to do with” the incident, with a description released to the public in an effort to locate him. Asked if it’s thought the fire was started deliberately, Lindgren affirmed “we think it was lit by someone, which is why we’ve started an investigation into arson”. An arrest was made in central Stockholm just after 2pm on Wednesday, with a man arrested suspected of arson on reasonable grounds (the lower degree of suspicion according to Swedish law).


Newsline: Portugal investigates London Consulate’s online appointment booking system

Portugal’s Minister of Foreign of Affairs has revealed that an investigation is under way at the country’s Consulate in London due to allegations of fraud. According to Augusto Santos Silva, the online appointment booking system is being abused, blocking applications while expediting requests by applicants for a fee. The minister further said that the government and the London Consul General were working to end these fraudulent acts which are currently the Consulate’s biggest operational problem.


Newsline: Portugal closes Libyan embassy due to fighting

The Portuguese government said that it had decided to temporarily suspend the Portuguese diplomatic representation in Trípoli due to the lack of security in Libya. According to the government communiqué, “this temporary suspension comes after the repatriation of Portuguese citizens who said they wanted to return home and had asked the Portuguese embassy for help”. “The Portuguese citizens who have stayed behind (mainly citizens with dual nationality), do so of their own free will”, the communiqué added.


Newsline: Philippine Embassy warns of recruitment scam for non-existent jobs in Portugal

The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon warned of an Internet scam offering fake jobs in Portugal in exchange for expensive processing fees exacted through money transfer. In an advisory, the embassy noted “an upsurge” in the number of Filipinos who have fallen victim to the scam, carried out via email purporting to come from companies in Portugal offering jobs and visa processing assistance “through payment of exorbitant fees.” “The Philippine Embassy in Lisbon would like to remind the public to be extra cautious in making transactions over the Internet with spurious companies and individuals offering employment and issuances of entry/working visas for Portugal,” read an Embassy statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs. The embassy warned that scammers use the names of “real and even reputable” Portuguese companies using information from official websites, lending authenticity to their job offers. Those who fall for the scheme are asked to pay fees for documents not really required by Portuguese authorities, including “entry clearance certificates,” “international overseas employment certificates” and “affidavits of guarantee fund.” The embassy urged Filipinos hoping to land jobs overseas to be more discerning about Internet offers. It said the requirement for fees for testing and processing documents prior to employment “is a sure sign of a scam.” The embassy said it was coordinating with Portuguese authorities and companies cited in the scams to issue their own public advisories.


Newsline: Portuguese embassy in Libya target of gunmen attack

A security officer was wounded in an attack by four gunmen at the Portugese embassy in Tripoli, news agency Lusa said. The men fled when other security officers arrived on site, the Portuguese agency said, adding that the wounded officer’s life was not in danger. A string of attacks targeting diplomats and Libyan politicians have hit Tripoli. Earlier this week, Tunisian and Jordanian diplomats in Libya were kidnapped. Diplomats in the Libyan capital say militias which fought to topple the Moamer Kadhafi regime in the 2011 uprising often carry out kidnappings in order to blackmail other countries into releasing Libyans held abroad.


Newsline: Angola’s Lisbon Embassy windows smashed

Angola’s ambassador to Lisbon said there was no connection between the act of vandalism against the Lisbon embassy early Sunday morning and the current state of relations between the two countries. “We believe this act was just an incident but we have to take care that this kind of thing doesn’t happen again”, Marcos Barrica, told the Angolan news agency Angop. Refusing to come to “any immediate conclusions”, the diplomat said it was “too early to conclude that the reason behind the incident had anything to do with the poorer relations with Portugal”. The embassy services are going to continue to work normally while the police investigate the incident. Estevão Alberto, the embassy press attaché said “paving stones had been thrown against the Avenida da Republica building and windows in the entrance hall and visitor room had been broken”, but the losses had not yet been calculated. The Portuguese government has condemned the “disturbances” on Sunday by “a group of unknown individuals” that caused damage to the building.