Archive for November, 2019

Portugal is the best destination in the world and wins 13 tourism ‘Oscars’

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

For the third consecutive year, Portugal is voted the best place on the planet to visit. ‘Oscar’ rain in 2019 also includes Lisbon, Madeira or Paiva Walkways

Tourism remains the strongest brand image in Portugal, which has just won the ‘Oscar’ of the world’s best destination for the third year in a row at the World Travel Awards (WTA) ceremony, which took place this Thursday 28th November in Muscat, capital of Oman.

In all, Portugal won 13 ‘tourism Oscars’ in 2019, the way the World Travel Awards are known – which also included the election of Lisbon as “The World’s Best City Break Destination”, Madeira as ” The best island destination in the world “, or the Paiva Walkways as” The best tourist attraction in the world in the adventure segment “.

Portugal returned this year to win the coveted ‘oscar’ best destination in the world, a prize for which countries such as neighboring Spain were nominated, but also Costa Rica, the Maldives, Malaysia, New Zealand or Vietnam. Dubai, South Africa or Kenya were other countries that were in this race, along with Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the United States, Jamaica, Brazil or Colombia.

In June of this year, Portugal had already been re-elected “The Best Destination in Europe” in the World Travel Awards, foreseeing that the price of the country was still rising to win the ‘Oscar’ of best tourist destination in the world.

“It is an honor to have received this award, which distinguishes the excellence of Portugal and the Portuguese,” emphasizes the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, in a statement sent to the newsrooms, stressing that “we must all continue to work to reinforce the statement. Portugal “.

At the 2019 World Travel Awards, Lisbon is again voted, for the second time, the best destination in the world for city breaks. The Portuguese capital received in 2018, and for the second time, the ‘Best Destination in the World for City Breaks’ Oscar, and also debuted last year at the ‘Best Destination City in the World’ award.

“The work developed in the requalification of the heritage, in the promotion of the destination and the improvement of the cultural, gastronomic and tourist offer, have positioned Lisbon as a reference in terms of good practices, and this is reflected in these distinctions,” says Paula Oliveira. , Executive Director of the Lisbon Tourism Association (ATL).

For the head of Turismo de Lisboa, the recent rehabilitation project of the riverside front for the New Lisbon Quay, which will involve investments worth € 27 million, represent an example of how the city “continues to reinvent itself and innovate to continue to exceed the expectations of Lisboners and those who visit us “, justifying these international awards.

Turismo de Portugal was also elected for the third consecutive year the “Best Official Tourism Organization in the World”. According to Luís Araújo, president of Turismo de Portugal, this ‘oscar’ “is nothing more than the recognition of the success of the 2027 Tourism Strategy” and the “commitment” of this entity to reach the goals defined in this plan “with a view to” affirming Portugal. as a tourist destination of excellence “- an objective that, according to the official, mobilized all the workers of this organization.

The rain of ‘Oscars’ also reached the Sintra Parks, which for the seventh consecutive year garnered the award for “Best Conservation Company in the World”.

Porto – PSP confirms detention of a British national and identification of 16 Belgians after clashes that caused “several injured

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

A Briton was arrested and 16 Belgians were identified after last night’s disagreements in Porto, PSP said. Several streets in central Porto have in the last two days been transformed into a “battleground” between Wolverhampton and Standard de Liege fans. Videos on social networks show the violence of the clashes in areas like Ribeira or Filipa de Lencastre square.

A statement from the PSP Porto Metropolitan Command released on Thursday afternoon confirms the detention of an English citizen, “for participating in violence and causing damage”, and the identification of 16 Belgian citizens for the same reason after the clashes this week which have resulted in “several people injured”, indicates the same source.

The announcement comes after disagreements among foreign fans in some streets of downtown Porto.

In the statement released today, police explain that “Porto has welcomed hundreds of English and Belgian fans throughout this week to watch the matches of European competitions that will take place in the cities of Braga and Guimarães.” To this end, PSP has mobilized, since the 26th, “different operational units, including, Rapid Intervention Teams, Prevention and Immediate Reaction Teams, Criminal Investigation and Special Police Unit.

However, despite the “mounted device” and appropriate preventive measures were taken to promote public order and citizen safety, there was a dispersion of incidents involving aggression and rioting in various parts of the city. Several were injured and registered at hospital, damage to commercial establishments and public spaces, “says that authority.

The PSP also underlines “the combination of efforts made with the police elements belonging to the Belgian and English Police teams that accompany these supporters and which proved to be very useful in the separation and referral of those who were not involved in the disturbances and who constitute the vast majority of supporters present yesterday in the city of Porto “, he concludes.

The clashes between Belgian and English fans tonight in Porto prompted the Mayor of Porto to ask the Ministry of Internal Affairs for more resources to end the “perceived lack of public security in the city”

For the second consecutive night, several streets in central Porto have been the scene of violence among supporters of clubs playing Thursday for the Europa League football in Braga and Guimarães.

 

 

 

 

Lisbon – PSP crackdown of pickpockets – 305 detained so far this year

Thursday, November 28th, 2019

On 20th November the Criminal Investigation Division, the PSP Lisbon Metropolitan Command, in the parish of Belém, Lisbon, arrested a 43-year-old man and two women aged 40 and 54 years suspected of pick pocketing a tourist, bringing the total detained so far to 305 in this year.

The arrest came when PSP police, who were watching the movements of suspected pickpockets, at the Doca do Bom Sucesso, Belém, noted that while the man and one of the women were posing as tourists, the second woman was behind watching.

After choosing the victim, they approached her and the man opened her shoulder bag, stealing her wallet. As they were seen by the agents, they could not escape, and were arrested. The wallet was seized with containing ​​in the order of 164 euros which was returned to the tourist.

PSP confirmed that the two women were already indicted for this type of crime and have pending cases of wallet theft, while the man was first arrested for this type of crime.

The three suspects appeared at court for Summary Trial, and were given a Penalty.

The PSP will continue to make multiple efforts to combat this crime which has a detrimental effect on victims and the general population, especially in areas with a high concentration of tourists, notably in the city’s historic sites.

They aim to crackdown on this priority crime.

 

 

European Commission forcing Portugal to change taxes on imported used cars

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

After opening an infringement procedure in January, the European Commission has now sent a Reasoned Opinion giving the Government a period of one month to change national legislation. If the Government does not comply, the next step will be the European court.

The Government has one month to change the way in which used cars imported from other member states are taxed in Portugal. If it does not do so, the European Commission will consider taking the case to the European court. The decision was communicated to the government on Wednesday and follows the infringement proceedings opened earlier this year.

Since then, the Ministry of Finance has presented its case to Brussels, but this has not been enough for the Commission to change its position.

At issue, it is recalled, that in calculating the Vehicle Tax (ISV) applicable to imported used cars national legislation does not take into account the age of the cars when calculating the environmental component of the tax for depreciation purposes. .

Speaking to the Business, Vanessa Mock, spokeswoman for the Commission for Tax and Customs Affairs, explains that “this means that used cars imported from other Member States are taxed more heavily compared to used cars bought in the Portuguese market, which brings difficulties for small car dealerships and higher prices for consumers. ”

Brussels believes that this is a matter of competition within the Community, as the country “discriminates against foreign cars” and therefore Portuguese legislation “is not compatible with single market rules” and treaties, more precisely with the Article 110 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) on freedom of movement.

At this point, Vanessa Mock goes on, there is no doubt that this is a “problem that needs to be solved” and “the sooner the better”. The Commission has been receiving “a significant number of complaints” and has “an indication that SMEs in the sector are under pressure because of current legislation”.

António Mendonça Mendes, Secretary of State for Tax Affairs, has confirmed to the Business that he has received the reasoned opinion, but says that he is still “assessing how to respond to Brussels”.

Deco warns: choose from Amazon, Booking, or TripAdvisor reviews? May be false

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Portuguese consumer organisation Deco warns: some Amazon, Booking.com, or TripAdvisor reviews may be false

The site Amazon has the largest number of suspects Comments (8.4%) in a study involving Deco and three other associations of European consumers. Second is TripAdvisor (6.2% of the statements are doubtful) and, third, Booking (2.1%).

Between June and August of this year, they analyzed 6.3 million opinions for 46,500 products and hotels, and concluded that “some of the opinions contained on the sites of the three platforms may be false.”

The results indicate that 60.5 thousand reviews on Booking.com raise suspicion as to its veracity, as do 14.6 thousand reviews published on Amazon and 10.7 thousand on TripAdvisor.

Associations explain that those online service providers have developed “some tools and strategies to minimize suspicious opinions,” but not only did they not solve the problem, but they don’t seem concerned, consumer associations say.

“The results of our study would not be very serious if the platforms we looked at were concerned with the false ratings that are published. But, on the contrary, the poor control and permissiveness of the criteria for posting opinions mirrors the careless and timid way try to control this phenomenon, which is very far from the standards required to defend the interests of consumers “.

Consumer representatives believe that there should be a validated register of users making comments; the obligation to make a purchase to post an opinion; prior checking of user trustworthiness and comment; the creation of mechanisms that detect both sudden increases in comments and user verification to reduce the possibility of robot intervention.

It is the practices they want to see applied by Amazon, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor, who will present the results of the study.

What was analyzed?

The technicians analyzed the comments and who made them, in 11 parameters, with different levels of importance and weights. In particular, they verified the existence of repeated sentences in different evaluations, the concentration of opinions in short periods, the deleted comments, unverified purchases and the amount of opinions of the same user.

They also took into account the profile of the evaluators: whether they only gave one opinion or made several comments on different products, for example. They checked if the reviewers always gave very positive opinions and if there were comments deleted by the platform or regarding unverified purchases.

The analysis was done in two periods to check for deleted comments and / or deleted users from July to August.

“When a product failed in many ways, significantly altering the final score, we thought it was affected by opinions that were suspected to be false,” write the technicians.

What is suspicious?

Understanding false comments is not easy, but associations leave some warning signs:

– Verify who is responsible for the transaction, if you are a vendor outside the platform he may be tempted to illicitly promote the products.

– A product has many excellent ratings (five stars) and at the same time many negative reviews (one star).

– Older opinions all have very high scores compared to the latest and coincide on certain dates.

– Give preference to verified comments made by those who actually purchased the product

– See other comments by the same author. You have purchased more than one product from different brands and rated them all with five stars; bought several products of the same type; never gave an opinion on an article from a recognized brand?

– Opinion includes many photos or even a video. “It’s unusual for someone who is satisfied with a product or service to put so much effort into promoting it,” they warn.

Funchal – Christmas Lights Vandalised

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

Christmas lights contracted by the Regional Government and installed by Teixeira Couto have been vandalized even before being turned on in downtown Funchal.

The company will file a complaint with PSP (police) the Diario understands. It has also been told by the company that is keen to alert the public to be aware of vandalism in the Christmas lighting facilities in Funchal.

APAV supported over 43,000 victims of domestic violence in five years

Monday, November 25th, 2019

Lisbon, 25 Nov 2019 (Lusa) – The Portuguese Victim Support Association (APAV) has recorded over 100,000 crimes in the context of domestic violence in five years and supported over 43,000 people, the majority (86%) women.

In a set of statistics covering the period 2013-2018 released today, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, APAV recalls that it recorded a total of 43,456 cases supporting domestic victims of violence, which translates into a total of 104,729 crimes.

Aged between 26 and 55 years (about 42%), the victims of domestic violence were mostly married women (33.7%) and belonged to a type of nuclear family with children (41.2%). .

Considering the type of existing problems, the type of continued victimization prevails in about 80% of situations, with an average duration between two and six years (16.9%). APAV data indicate that residence was the most chosen location for the “occurrence of crimes” in about 64% of situations.

The reported complaints / complaints are 41.2% compared to the total number of reported perpetrators.

The victims are still mostly female – around 86% – the same percentage of male perpetrators / perpetrators.

“The phenomenon of domestic violence against women encompasses victims of all social and economic backgrounds and strata. Violence – physical, psychological, sexual, financial – cannot be tolerated, ”stresses APAV.

Within the framework of the Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, APAV states that it is associated with the #Declarations by the Portuguese Republic and the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (IGC) campaign, and promotes exhibitions, sessions and actions. nationwide through their victim support offices.

Data released last Friday by the government indicate that 33 people were killed this year in the context of domestic violence, including 25 adult women, one child and seven men.

According to the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, between January and September of this year, compared to the same period last year, there was “an increase of more than 10% of the occurrences reported to PSP and GNR”, besides a “Increased responsiveness of the national support network for victims of domestic violence, which now has a 23% increase in attendance.”

On the same day, the Women’s Alternative and Response Union (UMAR), in a review of the past 15 years, indicated that more than 500 women were killed in the context of intimate relationships during this period, and that this year alone 28 died, some of them shot. , others strangled or beaten.

The data from UMAR’s Observatory of Murdered Women (OMA) can be found in the preliminary report presented in Lisbon which shows the reality of women murdered in Portugal from January 1st to November 12th.

During this period, and based on the news published in the national press, the OMA counted 28 women murdered in the context of intimate or family relations, in addition to two others killed in different contexts, and 27 attempted murders.

On balance, it means that on average there were three women murdered every month and an average of five women victims of extreme violence.

In a message on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which is marked today, the Prime Minister defended today that all citizens should “reap” to eliminate violence against women.

“All of us in society, each of us, have a responsibility in their family, their neighbours, their colleagues, among their friends not to tolerate, not to compromise, not to silence, and even to reap in order to eliminate violence against them.” women, “said Antonio Costa.

“Each of us has a duty to act. The traditional proverb that husband and wife do not get the spoon is not acceptable. What is the duty of each of us is to get the spoon. It is a duty of each.” , he stressed.

Dog packs alarm Sines population and force establishment of collection centre

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

The population of Sines, on the Alentejo coast, is alarmed by the increase of stray dogs roaming the city streets, forcing the municipality to set up a collection centre to try to stop the phenomenon.

“There are several packs that are more or less identified, some with about 30 dogs. As the dogs are not sterilized, every three months there are between 20 and 30 dogs”, according to Alexandra Bento, President of “4 Patas”, animal protection association in Sines (Setúbal district).

Along with some volunteers and two cares, the caretaker spends part of her days trying to help “the 180 or so stray dogs” so far counted by the association, which spends nearly 10,000 euros each year on clinics and medicines to help the animals.

“Our daily routine is to help these animals, rescue them when they are injured and try to find owners for their babies. Many times it is not possible, because after three or four months, they already know how to defend themselves, making their rescue very difficult”, she says.

The animals “are fed daily by care givers”, two 70-year-old women who receive food provided by the association for “dogs in small shelters”.

Built by volunteers, mostly cardboard and palletized, the shelters “protect them from rain and cold” and become permanent home for packs who recognize carers and tolerate their daily visits in exchange for food and water.

But these sites can become a public health problem, and she is advocating changes in legislation to “allow sterilization of street dogs” and to prevent “the pack from continuing to grow”.

Without a kennel, wandering animals congregate in groups around large commercial areas, in neighbourhoods, gardens and the outskirts of the city and do not go unnoticed by most people who fear attacks.

“There are sometimes people who are attacked,” Susa Mayor Nuno Mascarenhas admits to Lusa, claiming to have ‘inherited’ a problem that has been going on for many years since the closure of the only kennel that existed in the county.

The Lusa agency asked the authorities for more information regarding possible complaints of dog attacks on the public road, but to no avail.

 

This year alone, a total of 70 dogs were collected in the city of Sines and “most of them were given up for adoption,” explains the mayor, who advanced this year with the construction of an Official Pet Collection Center (CRO).

“The camera is trying to pick up the dogs and find locations in private [canine hotel] units, paying to let the animals, but we have recently decided to move forward with the work of the CRO, which we expect to be completed by 2020 to meet these needs,” the statement said. Mayor

This “much faster response” is applauded by the Sines animal advocacy association, but “not enough” to “accommodate the number of stray dogs that currently exist in the city” and which, according to Alexandra Bento, “has been getting worse, with the increased abandonment of companion dogs.”

“The camera rescues these animals, which are the most dangerous, because they can’t walk in the street to some temporary boxes that are full. Therefore, the work of the CRO is welcome, but it would be essential not only for Sines but for the whole country to be allowed to sterilize the street dogs or to advance with the construction of ‘pack spaces’, “argues the official.

According to the mayor, the collection centre, with an investment of 197 thousand euros, “will be just a transit zone” for a large number of these stray animals, since it is planned to build an inter-municipal kennel to “minimize this problem”.

“The five municipalities of the Alentejo coast (Sines, Santiago do Cacém, Grândola, Alcácer do Sal and Odemira) have decided to build an intermunicipal kennel in Santiago do Cacém, a project that is at a very early stage and will provide a sufficient response to the problems that we have had in this region, ”he says.

 

PJ dismantles suspected criminal group responsible for 30 robberies after arrests made in Vila Nova de Gaia

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Two men were arrested after a police operation for being “heavily indicted” for qualified robbery, damage and possession of prohibited weapons, the Judiciary Police (PJ) said on Friday, believing it had dismantled a “criminal group”.

In a statement, the Northern Directorate of the PJ describes that during the early hours of Friday, in the police operation organised to arrest these two suspects, “there was a need to open fire to stop them, especially since they were carrying two guns and tried to use them against police.”

The PJ stated that  it had disbanded “a criminal group” suspected last month of “committing about 30 crimes of robberies at fuel stations and others, criminal damage an attempted homicide.”

“On the night of 14th and 15th November the group committed 14 firearm-related crimes in which they indiscriminately fired at the victims,” ​​PJ says, saying the two men have “vast criminal records.”

This Friday, “when approaching the police to make arrests, the suspects reacted violently, disregarding orders and attacking police vehicles,” PJ describes.

Following the persecution in Vila Nova de Gaia, the men were taken to hospital due to “injuries sustained in making their arrest”.

According to PJ, a first member of the group had been arrested at  dawn on 17th November, after having committed “three more crimes”.

This first detainee was awaiting the outcome of the trial in custody, PJ added.

With these three arrests, the PJ “dismantled a criminal group that for about a month had been committing violent crimes against property and people using firearms.”

Minister highlights “responsible unionism” of PSP and GNR demonstration

Friday, November 22nd, 2019

Lisbon, 21 Nov 2019 (Lusa) – Home Affairs Minister Eduardo Cabrita today highlighted “responsible unionism” and the “high democratic maturity” of the demonstration that today brought together over 13,000 PSP and GNR military agents in Lisbon .

In a statement at the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Lisbon, after the protest was over, Eduardo Cabrita said that “the Government values ​​social dialogue.”

The official assured that he will continue the dialogue already started with the representative associations of the PSP and the GNR, in what he called the program of social dialogue and action for the “valorisation” of the security forces. He did not comment on the possibility admitted today by the professionals for a new demonstration for January 21st.

According to the minister, this program “integrates matters that are expressly foreseen in the Government’s program, namely a multi-annual program of recruitment to the security forces that allows them to be rejuvenated and to regain an operational capacity that the level of recruitment of the last two years has allowed.

Eduardo Cabrita spoke of “taking stock of the experience of the security forces programming law, which will allow us to start working on the new programming law for the period after 2021”.

He also said that priority will be given to a health and safety at work, which will give these professionals a regime that is appropriate to their type of specific safety safeguard duties for the Portuguese.

The minister added that an analysis of the remuneration regime will be made, considering the framework of supplements, allowances and additional remuneration that are received by the two security forces so that it can be coherent to adopt it in the future.

Eduardo Cabrita pointed out that PSP also assured today the security conditions in the framework of its functions to safeguard the right of demonstration and the right of movement and conveyed a message of recognition to the professionals who guaranteed it in the city of Lisbon..

Protesters from the security forces began at about 1 pm at the Marquis de Pombal, from where a parade to the parliament took place, where around 13,000 protesters, according to the organization, were guarded by a strong police force.

The peaceful demonstration was still marked by several symbolic and peaceful acts, and the threat of a new protest was threatened if the government failed to meet its demands.