Archive for June, 2018

Priority for the prevention of forest fires “was a great victory in society”

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

The Minister of Internal Affairs, Eduardo Cabrita, stated that the priority given to the prevention of forest fires “was a great victory in Portuguese society” because the importance of clearing the forest had never occupied so much time in the agenda of all.

In Braga, during the visit to the GNR station in Vila Verde, Eduardo Cabrita highlighted the “remarkable effort” Portugal made during the first half of 2018.

“Portugal is more aware, also a result of the terrible tragedy of last year. This is a priority theme for Portuguese society today, we are better prepared for this fight, “he added.

The Minister also emphasized the increased robustness of the fire-fighting program: “We have the means to be better prepared. We have a program involving 10,700 personnel for the period of greatest response, from firefighters, special forces, GNR, Armed Forces, a program with about a thousand men more than in previous years, we also constituted about 80 new permanent prevention teams in firefighters from north to south of the country.

Eduardo Cabrita emphasized the efforts of citizens and local authorities to prepare the fire season and highlighted the Safe People Safe Village program: “We already have more than a thousand villages involved in the project with a great intervention of the parish councils, in which they determine their evacuation routes, choose the local security officers and there is cooperation with the security forces and structures of civil protection

Social Security launches protocol for emergencies and catastrophes

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Social Security, in collaboration with the National Civil Protection Authority, has advanced to a new level of action in cases of civil emergency or catastrophe, developing an Intervention Protocol in Exception Scenarios.

This protocol includes instruments of planning, organization and coordination in the context of social support action, organizing Social Security technicians and giving indications of what to do and when to do it in articulation with other entities.

The Intervention Protocol presupposes:

  • The definition of the generic competences of the Social Security Institute within the scope of intervention in exceptional scenarios;
  • The competencies of the Social Security Operators according to the levels of action they will take, namely in the Operational Command Centres and in the Areas of Concentration and Support to Populations;
  • The definition of competency profiles according to the organization of the Institute’s teams;
  • The distribution of an intervention kit in an exception scenario composed of a vest and a field notebook for operational purposes, among other items.

2017 Experience

The fires of 2017 showed the relevance of Social Security intervention in a catastrophe or civil emergency environment.

Between June and October 2017 Social Security technicians provided permanent social support to the fire episodes in each district, contributing to the consolidation of what the Social Security responsibilities are in the context of emergency and catastrophe situations.

More than 9,000 visits were registered by Social Security technicians and about 232,000 euros were awarded in eventual subsidies to 319 families.

An exceptional and temporary exemption, total or partial, of the payment of Social Security contributions was also applied to 4 520 workers against others or self-employed.

Safe Village and Safe Persons Program – MAI Social Communication Note – June 14, 2018

Sunday, June 17th, 2018

The “Safe Village Segura” and “Safe People” Program is already being implemented in 700 villages in the 189 municipalities that have risky parishes in the area of ​​forest fire protection.

700 Village Security Officers were identified and 350 shelter / refuge locations identified. The Village Security Officer’s mission is to send warnings to the population, organize the evacuation of the cluster in case of need and raise awareness among the population.

Evacuation routes are also being identified posted in the population centres, and 260 evacuation plans have been drawn up. As of today, the distribution of self-protection kits will be intensified by the villages, as well as the signage to indicate the evacuation routes.

More than 10,000 people were involved in the awareness-raising activities carried out on the ground.

The implementation of the “Safe Villages” and “Safe People” Program is the result of a protocol signed between the National Civil Protection Authority (ANPC), the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities (ANMP) and the National Association of Parishes (ANAFRE).

In this combination of efforts between the Central Authority and Local Authority, it is intended:

– To encourage the participation of the populations and to reinforce the collective conscience that the protection and the security are the responsibilities of all;

– Support local authorities in order to promote more security;

– Contribute to the safeguarding of people and property;

– Implement strategies for the protection of population groups against rural fires;

– Create dynamics and habits based on the concept of self-protection;

– Familiarize the populations with the appropriate behaviours to observe in case of evacuation or confinement, training them for this purpose;

– Raise awareness for the adoption of practices and behaviours that minimize the risk of rural fire and increase the safety of communities.

For an effective and simple implementation of the program, ANPC has developed an Implementation Support Guide – https://www.portugal.gov .com / download-files / .aspx file v = 7b53bbc8-f205-4a59-9e43-b3e59b9217bc?   – so that, together with the municipalities and parishes, the measures are in progress swiftly adapted to local conditions.

Around 1 million leaflets with self-protection measures were distributed among several public entities. The brochure is also being delivered to the 640,000 households in the priority parishes. An information campaign on television, radio and social networks is also under way.

Safe Communities Portugal has translated leaflets for the MAI, and several thousand are available through the CDOS and municipal civil protection offices. These can be obtained from Safe Communities Portugal.

ICNF LAUNCHES APP TO HELP IN REQUESTING THE BURNING OF DEBRIS AND SCRIBLAND WASTE

Friday, June 15th, 2018

In an effort to simplify the procedure to report requests to burn debris in the cleaning of land and scrubland waste, the ICNF have launched an APP.

Upon making a request through the App the applicant receives an automated response based on ‘real time’ local information, such as the prevailing weather conditions and the fire siutuation in recent days.

The system generates a response based on the risk conditions for the requested day. The applicant will have to register online and then request authorisation to undertake a controlled burn. The reply is received by SMS or email.

The ICNF, in collaboration with the GNR and the National Association of Municipalities also provides a support line that allows applicants to ask questions and to access advice on how to register.

The helpline number (808 200 520), is associated with the SOS Environment and Territory Line of the GNR, is free and works from 0900 to 2100 hrs.

The uncontrolled burning debris and scrubland contributes to the high percentage of fires in Portugal that are attributable to human causes – around 98%. The new App will help to change behaviour so that such burnings can be undertaken safely.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT IT IS STILL THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE UNDERTAKING CONTROLLED BURNING TO FOLLOW THE SAFETY GUIDELINES

The App can be accessed on the ICNF website, https://fogos.icnf.pt/InfoQueimasQueimadas/.

CLICK ON THE ACCESS BUTTON TO REGISTER

 

Portuguese society has never been so prepared» for forest fires

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

“Portuguese society has never been so prepared” for summer forest fires, said Interior Minister Eduardo Cabrita, after the flag oath ceremony of 278 provisional guards (253 men and 25 women) of the GNR in Portalegre on 7th June.

During this year, “more than ever before, we are doing more than ever in self-protection, in programs such as Safe Village, Safe People, Resilient Villages, and we have prepared the means necessary for combat,” he added.

Eduardo Cabrita recalled that there are already “more air resources available than ever before”, adding that more than 8,000 elements of various services are already available to the surveillance and combat device (program).

A “very significant” investment is being made in the Integrated System of Emergency and Security Networks of Portugal (SIRESP), namely through the duplication of the mobile units, which go from four to eight, of electrical redundancy, where there are 18 new units, and the installation of a network of 451 satellite antennas.

“In addition, in the so-called SIRESP GL system, which is an automatic reference system for all vehicles affected by the device, we are also doing very much in a very short time,” said Eduardo Cabrita.

The Minister also pointed out that ‘our aim is not to impose fines’ on owners who did not clean the land, ‘our aim is to ensure cleanliness’. At present, the authorities are warning all landlords who have not complied with the law to do so.

“I wanted to point out that the GNR over these six months has done more than five thousand sessions of awareness” on the issue of rural fires “that directly reached almost 150 thousand Portuguese,” he said.

 

Prison sentences for owner and driver of vehicle involved in vehicle accident where 12 Portuguese citizens died

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

A French court has sentenced to four years in prison Arménio Pinto Martins, the owner of the truck involved in the accident that in March 2016 which resulted in the death of 12 Portuguese emigrants in Switzerland.

The court of large jurisdiction in Moulins, France, also condemned this Wednesday the driver Ricardo Pinheiro, now 21, was sentenced to three years in prison.

In the trial that began on Wednesday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office asked for four years’ imprisonment for each of the defendants, accused of aggravated negligent homicide.

In the closing arguments, Ricardo Pinheiro’s lawyer applied for a two-year sentence and the lawyer for Arménio Pinto asked for his acquittal.

The accident occurred on the evening of March 24, at the Estrada Centro Europa (National 79) in Montbeugny, Moulins. The van collided head-on with a lorry on the opposite side of the road. Only Ricardo Pinheiro, who made an ill-calculated overtaking, survived.

The group had left Romont, Switzerland, bound for Portugal to spend Easter and travelled in the overcrowded Renault Spinter, with exceeded its seating capacity, made available by Arménio Pinto Martins, which Ricardo Pinheiro agreed to drive.

Lawyer obtained millions through Gold Visa scams

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Foreign citizens believed that they had a lawyer who would solve their problems with the residence permit in Portugal through the Gold Visas.

They were mainly Brazilians, South Africans and Chinese, and entrusted Maria Antonia Cameira with large sums of money, in the order of millions, to ensure the purchase of houses, each worth at least 500 thousand euros. But the lawyer, who has been in preventive custody since July last year, ended up with the money and is now accused by the Public Prosecution Office of crimes of qualified fraud and forgery of documents. In addition to the lawyer, the office he represented is also the defendant.

According to the District Attorney General of Lisbon (PGDL), the indictment indicates that, at least since 2014, in light of the gold visas, the defendant “drew up a plan, using a law firm, of which he was legal representative, which was to promote their legal services as well as the acquisition of real estate properties with them. ”

But the scheme went beyond the mere legal service. “As part of the plan, monetary amounts relating to real estate were obtained. Instead of carrying out the corresponding deeds and buying and selling, for which it was mandated, the defendant would make them his, forging information from the SEF, making passbooks and permanent certificates of the real estate, creating the impression with investors that progress with SEF was being made. At the time of arrest about 10 million euros through fraud in fraud had been made.

The lawyer even went to South Africa and China to contact prospective clients. “In order to publicize its alleged services in acquiring property and providing legal services in obtaining Gold visas. The defendant advertised on the Internet, made cooperation agreements with agencies and real estate agents and moved to several countries where he contacted potential clients, namely in South Africa and China. ”

The investigation was directed by the MP in the 8th section of the DIAP of Lisbon, with the support of the PJ, and if the defendants do not request the instruction will soon be for trial.

The defendant has been convicted in England and served six years in prison for misappropriating 312,000 euros from a client of law firms she ran in London. The money served, according to the British court, was to to pay expenses and finance the luxurious life of the Portuguese. She was tried in absentia in 2012 having fled to Lisbon before the conviction.

 

GNR cancels 31 counts of misconduct for lack of clearing of weeds

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

The National Republican Guard (GNR) said on Monday that up to Thursday, a total of 31 of the 1946 records of misconduct raised during the inspection of land requiring fuel management had been cancelled as owners cleared the land by May 31.

“The procedure for annulment of the case requires the monitoring of the places where commissions of administrative misconduct have been instituted before May 31,” said the GNR source, indicating that Santarém is the district with the most records of administrative misconduct were registered, with a total of 401 cases for non-compliance with the forest fuel management bands.

Without indicating where the 31 cancelled cases are located, the GNR also highlights the districts of Viseu (171), Leiria (162), Coimbra (157), Portalegre (147), Aveiro (139), Vila Real (116) and Guarda 110) as those who have more records of misconduct.

Of the 18 districts of Portugal, Beja is the one that registers the lowest infringements raised by May 31, followed by Évora (24), Bragança (32), Braga (39), Faro (43), Setúbal (46) and Viana do Castelo (50).

According to the GNR data, the Lisbon district has 83 records and Porto district had 59 administrative proceedings instituted.

Under the supervision of the fuel management bands, after the deadline of March 15 for private individuals to clean the land, from April 2 to May 31 of this year, the GNR surveyed 981 cases of misconduct directed at “owners, tenants, users or entities that, in any way, hold lands bordering on buildings located in rural spaces. ”

Of the total of 1,946 counter-administrative records filed by the GNR, between January 1 and May 31 of this year, 389 reports refer to infractions “in the population clusters located or confined with forest areas, and previously defined in the Municipal Forest Defense Plan (PMDFCI), [where] fuel management is required in an outer protection strip of a minimum width of not less than 100 meters “, and 371 cases concerning non-compliance with the criteria defined by the law for the management of fuel on surfaces .

In this context, 170 cases were also addressed to companies, of which 113 were in the road network, 16 were in the rail network, six in the transmission and distribution of very high voltage and high voltage electricity lines, 32 in the medium voltage power distribution lines and three in the natural gas transmission network, according to GNR data.

Villages have 450 local security officers under Safe Village – Safe People Scheme

Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

The Safe Village, Safe People Program, created this year in response to last year’s fires, is being impolemented in 600 villages in the country, with 310 places of refuge identified.

Silvério Teixeira, deputy chief of the retired PSP, was the first local security officer in a village in Portugal. Since April 9, he has been in charge of the security of the residents of Vale Florido, in Ansião.

The “Safe Village, Safe People” program already has 450 designated security officers.

The initiative, launched by the Ministry of Internal Administration, is being implemented by municipalities and parish councils, especially in places where the risk of fire is higher (189 municipalities and 1049 parishes), under the guidance of the National Authority for Civil Protection (ANPC), which developed a program implementation guide.

The guardians have been chosen from villagers. They are people of the land that everyone knows, able to mobilize neighbours, to guard against risky behaviour, to report in the event of approaching the flames and to take the reins of evacuation to a shelter or even to an extreme situation. This mission of great responsibility is a voluntary act.

At the moment, there are 600 clusters involved in the program. In addition to the designation of a local security officer, this initiative also includes the drafting of evacuation plans, the creation of collective refuges within the localities and the signalling of escape routes.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs reports that the “signalling necessary to identify evacuation routes and places of refuge” has begun to be distributed among the 189 municipalities with 1049 parishes with a higher risk of fire. The 650 thousand houses in those parishes will receive information with measures of self-protection against fires.

In addition to the appointment of security officials, some 250 villages already have an evacuation plan and 310 collective shelter sites have been identified. The ANPC and the mayors have opted for buildings of collective use, such as chapels or venues of local associations.

Portugal decreases slightly to 4th place in latest global piece index results

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018

In the latest results just published Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. New Zealand, Austria, Portugal and Denmark also sit in the top five most peaceful rankings. Syria remains the least peaceful country in the world, a position it has held for the past five years. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq and Somalia comprise the remaining least peaceful countries.

Portugal dropped from 3rd overall position to 4th, but remains third place in Europe.

This is the twelfth edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. Produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), the GPI is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to-date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.

The GPI covers 99.7% of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace using three thematic domains: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.

The results of the 2018 GPI find that the global level of peace has deteriorated by 0.27% in the last year, marking the fourth successive year of deteriorations.

Spain recorded the fourth highest overall deterioration in peacefulness of any country, and the largest in the European region. It has dropped out of the 20 most peaceful countries, falling to 30th in the rankings, and is now ranked amongst the bottom half of the European region.

The deterioration in peacefulness in Spain has been driven by two trends: firstly, an increase in the terrorism impact indicator and secondly, a deterioration in the political environment owing to unrest over possible secession by the Catalonia region. 2017 saw a number of high profile terrorist attacks in Spain, most notably the August attack on the La Rambla pedestrian mall in Barcelona, which killed 14 people and injured over a hundred more.