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Country is experiencing the worst drought ever at the start of summer



Alarms are sounding: water this summer will have to be managed with caution and limitations on public use are inevitable. Measures will be closed this month. May was very dry and forecasts for June are no better.

Saving water will have to be the watchword this summer. After some relief in March and April, the month of May was the hottest on record in Portugal and very dry. Accordingly the forecasts from the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere, which are being worked on with the Portuguese Environment Agency, predict an even drier second half of June, which places the country in the most serious scenario ever in terms of water shortage at the beginning of summer.

The inter-ministerial meeting to assess the drought situation at the national level will take place soon, and the first package of measures for the summer should be closed at the time, after the various initiatives and constraints that took place at the beginning of the year, including the interruption of electricity production in dams where the quotas have dropped to the most critical levels (which remain).

The priority will be to ensure the water supply to the population and manage the reserves for public use and irrigation. As the course of the year is uncertain – the current hydrological year has been the second driest on record and there are no long-term guarantees that autumn and winter will be rainier – measures will have to take into account that the rainy months of end of the year may not be, so the approach is one of caution. “We have never been in such a bad situation at the start of summer,” according to a source linked to the monitoring process.

Inevitable conditioning of water use Two weeks ago, in an interview with Expresso, the Minister of the Environment anticipated a “difficult summer” in terms of drought, admitting at the time the conditioning of water use and anticipating that the meeting to assess the situation and measures would take place within three week

Meanwhile, the IPMA assessment for May confirmed the worst trajectory and, the Portuguese Environment Agency has also been working regionally to assess the more complex situations locally.

The Algarve is one of the concerns: in addition to the drought situation, the post-pandemic tourist recovery brings an increase in water consumption in the region and will be another factor to manage.

In other periods of drought, the measures involved limiting the filling of swimming pools and decorative fountains and also the watering of gardens and street washing, with the use of treated water for this purpose being advanced in recent months, but which still happens to a small scale.

If the constraints of water use in the summer are being seen as inevitable, part of the emphasis will also be on raising awareness

In recent months, several municipalities have launched campaigns to save water, from Portalegre to Mértola, passing through Famalicão or Castro Verde. One of the experts’ concerns is that Portugal has experienced successively drier years, so the recovery from a drought situation tends to be slower.

It only rained 13% of the time in May According to the May Climate Bulletin published by the IPMA at the end of last week, this was the scenario at the end of last month: 97.1% of the territory was already in severe drought and 1.4% was extreme, therefore 98.5% of the territory in the most worrying categories of meteorological drought. It needed to have rained more than usual this spring to make up for the dry months at the beginning of the year and if March and April were a relief, in May it only rained 13% of the record between 1971 and the year 2000.

It was the warmest May in 92 years, when records begin.

The hydrological year 2021/2022, considering the period from October to May, is the 2nd driest since 1931, after 2004/05. But in May 2005, as in the last great drought of 2012, the country did not reach the end of May, practically all of it in the most severe categories of drought. In both years there was a greater share of the territory in extreme drought, but a quarter of the country was still in moderate drought. At the end of May – and the June heat wave will have already worsened the situation – only 1.5% of the mainland was in moderate drought.



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Seminar – Domestic Violence – A Cross Cultural Focus


Thursday 9th June 2022,  1600 – 1800 hrs, Loulé, Algarve

After a break from face to face seminars of nearly two years due to Covid-19 restrictions, Safe Communities Portugal is are pleased to announce the first of a number of planned seminars – this first one dealing with an important subject, that of domestic violence. This is being organised jointly between SCP and Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima (APAV) Algarve.

The focus and aim of the seminar is to create greater awareness in recognising the signs and handling of domestic violence cases across different cultures. For those who deal with migrants and/or groups where cultures, language and customs maybe very different to that in Portugal, understanding their needs as victims of domestic violence and related abuse is essential.


The venue will be the lovely historic Palácio Gama Lobo, Rua de Nossa Senhora de Fátima, 8100-557, Loulé.

Attending and presenters

We are privileged to have Dr. Vitor Aleixo, Sr. Presidente da Câmara de Loulé who will give an opening address as well as a range of speakers who have considerable local, national and/or international experience in their respective fields.

Our speakers are: Carmen Rasquete, Secretária Geral, Associação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima;

Marta Chaves da Silva, Coordenadora Adjunta – Coordenadora Regional – Programa Nacional para a Prevenção da Violência no Ciclo de Vida – ARS Algarve;

Dinita Chapagain,  Associação Safe Communities Portugal;

Diana Necker, Association of Romanian and Moldavian Immigrants of the Algarve (Doina) and

Captain Jorge Barbosa, Guarda Nacional Republicana.

The welcoming will be by David Thomas, President Safe Communities Portugal and Júlia Cardoso APAV Algarve Regional Manager will be present as co-organiser.

The seminar will examine: Domestic violence and the impact on vulnerable people – what can the health sector do? Challenges in supporting victims of domestic violence; Understanding the diversity in culture, language, religion and customs amongst the “Indianos”, Dealing with Domestic Abuse/Human trafficking victims and Domestic violence – Police intervention

Following the presentation there will be a panel debate and an opportunity to ask questions. The event is being held in English. Entry is free of charge and there is parking opposite the venue.

David Thomas


Safe Communities Portugal

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The document highlights that crime, both general and violent and serious, recorded levels ​​below the pre-pandemic period, in 2019.

Overall crime increased by 0.9% in 2021 compared to 2020, while violent and serious crime decreased by 6.9%, according to the Annual Internal Security Report (RASI) approved today.

The 2021 RASI, approved at the meeting of the Superior Council for Internal Security, reveals that reported crime recorded a slight increase compared to 2020, with 2,597 more crimes.

According to the RASI, in 2021, 301,394 crimes were reported to the security forces and services, 0.9% more than in 2020, when 298,797 were reported.

However, violent and serious crime recorded a decline last year compared to 2020, with 855 fewer.

The RASI accounts for 11,614 violent and serious crimes in 2021, 6.9% less than in 2020, when there were 12,469.

The document highlights that crime, both general and violent and serious, recorded values ​​below the pre-pandemic period, in 2019.

According to the RASI, crimes against property continue to be the most representative within the scope of crime reported to security forces and services, representing 50.2% of the total.

Theft crimes, which in their various forms represent 26.7% of total participations, maintain the downward trend seen in recent years with 3,932 fewer occurrences (-4.66%) compared to 2020.

The RASI also indicates that the crime of domestic violence is the most reported, with 26,520 complaints, despite having registered a reduction of 4% (-915 cases) compared to 2020.

Lisbon (72,183), Porto (47,552), Setúbal (28,679), Faro (20,788) and Braga (18,419) are the districts with the highest absolute number of reported crime and, conversely, Portalegre (3,058), Bragança (3,140), Guarda (3,462), Évora (3,595) and Beja (4,321) have the lowest values.

However, overall crime recorded greater increases in 2021 in Lisbon, 2,190 more (+3.1%), Azores (+735, +7.9%), Beja (+561, +14.9%), Setúbal (+426, +1.5%), Castelo Branco (+361, +7.1%), while the biggest drop occurred in Porto, minus 2,908 (-5.8%), Madeira (-476, -7, 9%), Coimbra (-451, -4.8%), Braga (-442, -2.3%) and Portalegre (-283, -8.5%).

The RASI also reveals that the crime of robbery in its various forms is responsible for 68% of the violent and serious occurrences recorded, the crime of robbery on public roads, theft by stretching and resistance and coercion on an employee representing 65.5% of serious and violent.

Within the scope of violent crime, crimes for extortion rose, with 129 cases (19.5%) and rape, a further 82 cases (+26%).

In the opposite direction, robbery by snatching fell, with 461 cases less (-20.9%), robbery on public roads (-390 cases, -8.3%) and residential robberies by (-148 cases, -22.5%).

As with general crime, the districts of Lisbon (4,619), Porto (1,886), Setúbal (1,234), Faro (707) and Braga (469) have the highest absolute number of violent and serious crime.


Violent crime registered drops in 2021 in the districts of Setúbal, minus 359 (-22.5%), Lisbon (-344, -6.9%), Faro (-144, -16.9%), Aveiro (-57 , -12.5%) and Coimbra (-54, -17.6%), while in Santarém, 48 (+18%), Porto (+32, +1.7%), Azores (+28%, 14.6%) and in Viana do Castelo (+26, 34.2%) increased.

The meeting of the Superior Council for Internal Security was chaired by Prime Minister António Costa.



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Guimarães, Braga May 15, 2022 (Lusa) – Nina, Daria and Juliia arrived in Guimarães on March 15 with minor children, the pain of war and uncertainty, but after two months, they feel integrated, with work and their children to attend school.

Nina Kozachok, 38 years old, Vladislav and Rostislav, 15 and 8 years old, lived in Vinnitsa but, as soon as the war started, they fled to Poland, where they stayed for a few days in a pavilion with “more than 1,500 people” of various nationalities, “ afraid and in very difficult humanitarian conditions”.

Nina says that it was during this period, through Facebook, that she learned that Portugal was receiving people from Ukraine, promising them “work, home and school for the children”.

“This is very important for anyone who has two children. Portugal was the country that offered the best conditions [for reception]”, says Nina, who did not know the country, nor Guimarães, the city where she arrived with other compatriots in a nine-seater van, with a mix of “sadness, happiness and uncertainty” to face the future.

However, the beautician’s fear “for the unknown”, quickly turned into a “good surprise”, starting with the conditions she found in the host family’s house, in the parish of Fermentões.

“We couldn’t believe it: rooms prepared, table full of food, with cereal for the children, the fridge full. I am very grateful to this family”, underlines Nina, through the voice of the translator who accompanied the interview, which took place at the host family’s home.

As for her children, her biggest concern is that of her husband, 38 years old, who had to stay in Ukraine, reports that “a week” after arriving, they were already attending schools in the municipality of Guimarães, which adapted to their needs “ new students”, who are learning Portuguese, geography, English, among other subjects.

“They were very well received in schools. The youngest is in the 2nd year at Fernando Távora [school] and the oldest is in the 10th year, at Francisco da Holanda [school], “says Nina Kozachok, adding that Vitória Sport Clube also offered to receive them. in different sports.

Visibly moved, the mother thanks and expresses “deep gratitude” to the host family and to the entities that have helped her family in this “difficult phase”, namely to the services of the Guimarães Council, which “are always available” to support, but assumes who wants to have their independence.

“I already have a job interview scheduled. I want to work, earn my money, have an independent life. I want to organize my life”, emphasizes Nina, for whom the return to Ukraine is, these days, just a “wish and a dream”.

Those already working are Daria Makarova, 34, and Juliia Yehorenkova, 42, friends who fled with their children, aged 14 and 16, from Nikopol, a city about 420 kilometers from the capital Kiev.

In Ukraine they worked in a bakery, in Guimarães they are employees, with a work contract, in the Continuing and Medium-Term Care and Rehabilitation Unit of the Polvoreira Parish Social Center (CSPP), in which they are “integrating very well”, with the precious help of ‘Google translator’.

A Moldovan co-worker, who has been in Portugal for several years, acted as a translator in the conversation with the two women, who, as soon as the war broke out, fled to Lviv, near the Polish border, where they stayed for five to six days. .

They say that, like Nina, with whom they traveled in the same little guy who arrived in the birthplace on March 15, it was through Facebook that they obtained information about the conditions that Portugal offered to Ukrainian refugees, namely, “food, work, everything” .

The “peace, tranquility, landscapes” and the advice of a friend with connections to Angola were fundamental for them to choose Portugal as a destination to escape the war and they risked coming “at luck”, without knowing anything or anyone.

The four live in an apartment that belongs to the CSPP, which will cover the expenses related to housing, for a year. After this period, a lease agreement will be made, at an affordable price.

The children Daria and Juliia also attend schools in the county, where they were “very well received and integrated” by educational establishments and colleagues.

Asked about a possible return to Ukraine, this seems to be, at the moment, a very distant reality.

“I live one day at a time. I don’t know tomorrow”, replied Julia.





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Monchique Council intervenes in areas with high fire risk


Monchique, Faro, 28 Apr 2022 (Lusa) – The City Council of Monchique is carrying out interventions in areas with high fire risk to increase resilience in the event of forest fires and provide greater security to populations, works financed by the Condomínio de Aldeia program.

After the area was hit, in 2018, by the biggest forest fire in Europe that year, the priority is now the defence of the population centers located in the forest area of ​​Monchique, the Algarve area most affected by forest fires in the last decades.

According to the mayor, Paulo Alves, explained to Lusa, the interventions, which focus on areas of high fire danger, aim to reconvert areas of bush, eucalyptus and pine through the planting of indigenous species, such as the strawberry tree, cork oak or citrus.

“That is the intention, to make those housing environments safer and more resilient to fires, also giving the opportunity to owners to later reconvert those areas”, he explained, stressing that all the intervened areas were affected by the fire of 2018 or others.

The first intervention, which has already been completed, was carried out at the Montinho site, covering an area of ​​21 hectares and six owners. Work is now underway in Portela da Serenada and Corchas, totaling 18 hectares and 21 owners.

The Municipality of Monchique is still preparing an application for three more village condominiums in the areas of Restolho da Aveia, Belém and Corgo do Vale, in a total area of ​​35 hectares shared by 75 owners, added the mayor.

In practice, the work aims to implement fuel management strips around population clusters, by removing, above all, eucalyptus and invasive shrubs, such as acacia, and then placing species that are more adapted to the Mediterranean climate.

As the head of the Rural Development division of the Câmara de Monchique, Sónia Martinho, explained to Lusa, in places where slopes are above 25%, terraces are being opened, that is, platforms where native species will also be planted, helping to decrease the propagation speed in case of fire.

“These trees, being autochthonous, are more adapted to our climate, which is dry, the Mediterranean climate. Cork oaks, on the other hand, have self-protection against fire, which is cork, and we can say that they are more adapted to this location and that they will also have more resilience to a fire”, he said.

However, equally important is the way in which the species are being planted and how this management will be maintained in the future, he noted, regretting that agricultural areas are not included in the program, financed by funds from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (PRR) through of the Environmental Fund.

“It was very important for us to be able to extend this program and open it to other agglomerates, especially those with more agricultural area, because then we would achieve more effective management and an increase in productivity”, he underlined.

According to Sónia Martinho, the program’s eligibility criterion for applications is that the intervention is carried out in areas with more than 60% of forested area, so there are already few agglomerates in Monchique with this characteristic.

Speaking to Lusa, the regional director of Agriculture for the Algarve, Pedro Valadas Monteiro, considered that agricultural activity is “fundamental” for these areas to become more resilient to fire, first of all, because it is yet another income-generating activity.

“We know that one of the constraints on forestry production, we are talking about slow-growing species, is that yield takes decades, and with small vegetable gardens and orchards, agroforestry producers have an opportunity for intermediate yields”, he observed.

On the other hand, he added, the existence of agricultural areas requires land cleaning, because it interrupts the forestry continuum in the event of a fire, in addition to the fact that agriculture requires more attention from landowners, who “go there more often”. and, being there, they clean and are more vigilant to any ignition”.

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With so much bad news in the world at present, let us celebrate some good news here in Portugal for the week:

– Favourable/improving Covid-19 situation, means that it is no longer mandatory to wear masks (with few exceptions), after 2 years of doing so,

– At long last no weather warnings in place for mainland Portugal for the next few days

– Massive discounts for 2nd Class IC travel on railways means you can travel from south to north of country for just €10

– Passenger Locator Form dispensed with, which means your family and friends no longer have to complete a PLF for entry to the mainland.

– Entry into national territory by air, sea and river is authorized, in the context of essential and non-essential travel, regardless of the origin of the passengers. (See FB post yesterday)

– Today marks the last day of the 48 year dictatorship in Portugal which ended on 25th April 1974.

– The Lisbon City Council has approved the free public transport in the city for young people up to 23 years and those over 65 years, resident in Lisbon municipality

– Increased tourism – National tourist accommodations received 1.2 million guests in February, which represents an increase of 507% compared to the same month of 2021, according to data published by the National Statistics Institute (INE).

– The Portuguese MotoGP Grand Prix, between Friday and Sunday, in Portimão, can generate a direct and indirect return of around 50 million euros for the country. The company that promotes the World Motorcycle Speed Championship, Dorna, has confirmed its intention to keep the Portuguese Grand Prix on the calendar in 2023.

So let’s celebrate the Good News there is around and brighten up our day.

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Situations of attempted “phishing” – fraud committed through computer media – as we find ourselves following the evolution of this type of crime.

GNR states:

• Do not respond to emails from an unknown sender, provide personal data or click on links that are not familiar with;

• In case you have been injured in the reported situation and wish to exercise your right to make a complaint and criminal proceedings against the perpetrators, you can do so at a police station in your area of residence;

• For formalization of the right to complain, it has a period of 6 months from the date of occurrence and will be able to exercise it at any police station, keeping up with the data it possesses;

• You can file a complaint referral electronically, using the constant digital platform at the address below. You will need a Portuguese address.

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The Republican National Guard, the National Road Safety Authority and the Public Safety Police have today launched the Road Safety Campaign “Travel without a rush”.

The campaign, which runs between April 26 and May 2, 2022, aims to alert drivers to the risks of speeding.

Just a reminder that:

– “Speed is the main cause of one third of all fatal accidents”;

– “The faster we drive, the less time we have to respond, when something unexpected happens;”

– “In a 10 km journey, increasing the speed from 45 to 50 km/h allows you to gain only 1 minute and 20 seconds. Travel without a rush. ”

Road accidents need not lead to fatalities and its more serious consequences can be avoided by reducing speed.

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The report from yesterday and overnight developments up to 0700 hrs today, summarized under various headings, can be downloaded here:…/

ATROCITIES IN BUSHA – Shocking images of bodies of civilians in the streets of Bucha, near Kyiv, have led to an outpouring of international condemnation of Russia. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, on Monday morning, where dozens of civilians were killed by Russian troops.

Ukraine says 50 out of some 300 bodies, found after Russian forces withdrew from Bucha were victims of extrajudicial killings by Russian troops. Satellite images show a 14-metre-long trench dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave was found. The Ukrainian city’s funeral services claim to have located and buried around 340 bodies of civilians found on the city’s streets. Bucha was besieged by Russian troops for weeks and, after his release, hundreds of bodies were discovered in the streets, some of them with their hands tied behind their backs.

The Ukrainian military intelligence services released this Monday, on the Internet, the personal data of 1,600 Russian soldiers – including name and surname, date of birth and military rank -, integrated in the troops that acted in Bucha, near Kiev. (KI)

REACTION TO ATROCITIES – Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa stated on Twitter: that “The brutality of the images that reach us from Busha is shocking. We strongly condemn these atrocities against civilians. An unacceptable barbarity that must be vehemently punished by international justice”, wrote António Costa on his official Twitter account. (PM Twitter)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has called for all bodies found in the town of Bucha to be exhumed and identified, to ensure that war crimes can be investigated. Bachelet said she was “horrified” by the images, which she said raised “serious and disturbing doubts about possible war crimes, serious violations of international law and serious violations of international human rights law. (UNHCR)

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez referred today in Madrid to the existence of a possible “genocide” in Ukraine with the massacre of civilians discovered in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, after the withdrawal of Russian troops. (SIC)


The Russian Armed Forces have laid mines on more than 80,000 square kilometres of Ukrainian territory, more than 62,000 of which have been since the invasion of the country on February 24, announced the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.

“Following the first wave of Russian armed aggression against Ukraine in 2014, around 16,000 square kilometres of the Lugansk and Donetsk regions were contaminated with mines and remnants of war explosives,” the Ukrainian ministry said in a statement published yesterday on the occasion of the International Landmine Hazard Awareness Day.

UN SECURITY COUNCIL – Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will address an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council today. Speaking during his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said it is in Kyiv’s interest to have an open and transparent investigation into the alleged killing of civilians in Bucha.


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Lisbon, 04 Apr 2022 (Lusa) –

The Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) guaranteed today that the reform of the SEF will take place and that “the entire restructuring process will be clear and transparent” and in dialogue with the structures of workers.

The new Minister of Internal Administration, José Luís Carneiro, received the three unions representing the SEF this afternoon and one of the items on the agenda was “the ongoing restructuring process”, says the MAI, in a response sent to Lusa.

According to the MAI, José Luís Carneiro assured the representatives of the three unions that “the entire restructuring process will be clear and transparent, through a frank and open dialogue with the workers’ representative structures”.

During the meeting, the minister also ensured the “maintenance of the remuneration status” of the employees, that “everything will be done to protect the functional status” and “preservation of a dignified career, with prospects for progression”, as well as the “possibility of accessing leadership positions, exercising functions in European and international organizations or immigration liaison officers”.

The minister also told the unions that border training courses will start this week at the GNR and PSP, two of the police forces that will absorb the SEF’s police powers, together with the PJ.

The MAI indicates that José Luís Carneiro also realized that the restructuring process of the SEF “is an institutional evolution that corresponds to a change in political options and public policies, in accordance with the Global Pact for Migration, approved by the General Assembly of the UN, and the National Plan for the Implementation of the Global Compact on Migration, already approved and published by the Portuguese Government”.