The Minister of Internal Administration Eduardo Cabrita Minister has announce in the Ministry’s budget presented in Parliament on 21st November, the “reinforcement” of 500 military personnel for the GNR Intervention, Protection and Relief Group (GIPS), increasing it from 600 to 1100 personnel, and the reinforcement of 200 more personnel for the Nature Protection and Environment Service (SEPNA), under the new forest defence policies.

The MAI will have a budget of €2,128 million, an additional €60 million compared to 2017, with the largest share of the investment to belong to the National Civil Protection Authority.  According to the minister, this increase serves to sustain a “new dimension in the prevention and combat of forest fires” and a guarantee that until next summer “” nothing can remain as before.”

In the budget summary, the SEF is also highlighted, with them receiving the highest increase in personnel expenses (plus €15.1 million), for the admission of another 100 inspectors and the reinforcement of other categories.

The figures according to Diarios de Noticais are less clear however as in the documents presented the MAI appears to have artificially increased the GNR and PSP numbers of 2017 with 750 students who have not even started the police training course.

The document itself assumes the integration of the “trainees”, but does not mention that they have not yet started the training, which will only begin in 2018. Last year the PSP had 21,715 police officers and this year has 20 355 (a reduction of 1360), but with the number of trainees were added 430, totalling 20 885, a figure that remains for 2018. These include 400 trainees who have still not entered training school.

As for the GNR, the situation is the same. In 2016 there were 24,740 military personnel, which was reduced to 24 390 this year. In the official document, the MAI adds to these 350 candidates, which according to a GNR source, should only begin their training in December. With this sum, which is joined by 30 other officers already taking the course, GNR maintains the same strength of 2016.