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The Portugal News newspaper

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The Portugal News newspaper

Post by Pedro Silva on Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:20 am

My friends, this was taken from The Portugal News newspaper:

Bonds auctioned for Portugal and Ireland
The European Commission auctioned €3 billion in long term debt Monday, on behalf of the European Union, via the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM), to lend to Ireland and Portugal.
Strong demand for the 30-year bonds, offering 3.75% interest rates, proved just how confident the markets were, a Community source said. The auction was dominated by European buyers with German institutions making up about 70% of the total. The €3 billion will be split roughly 50:50 between Ireland and Portugal.
Portuguese marriage fixers handed six years in jail

A Portuguese woman and her Bangladeshi husband, who married in the UK as part of a visa scam, have been sentenced to a total of six years in jail for attempting to fix marriages for four other Bangladeshis who were in the UK on student visas.
It has been reported by the UK’s press that the four Bangladeshis each paid £2,200 for their brides, who were flown in from Portugal. The men were facing deportation as their student visas neared expiry.
The Bangladeshi fixer, Mohammed Tanin, 26, a landlord, and his Portuguese wife, Maria Marques, 22 years his senior, have been found guilty of trying to arrange other sham marriages to dodge immigration laws and attain visas. Snaresbrook Crown Court sentenced them to six years in prison – four for Tanin and two years for Marques.
Two of the brides-to-be, identified as Tama Perpetuo, 24, and Ana Cunha, 22, were sentenced to 14 days in jail for their role in the scam, while the future husbands were let off with a warning.
It was found that within seven days of their arrival in the UK on June 30, 2010, the Portuguese women had applied to the Home Office for permission to marry.
It has also been reported that the four Bangladeshi suitors each paid Mohammed Tanin, the equivalent of over €2,600 for the brides to be flown to the UK.
The sham couples were due to marry in July this year.
Once married, as the spouses of European Union citizens, the men would have an automatic right to remain in the UK.
According to newspaper Daily Mail, Tanin’s wife told the grooms: “They can cook, they can clean and they can marry you.”
Tanin and Marques’ marriage at Bow, East London, on November 24, 2009, was also a sham to keep Tanin in the country after his student visa expired.
Sentencing, Judge Inigo Bing described the scam as “fraudulent exploitation of an immigration rule.”
“Every national government has a duty to protect its borders and to control the number of people entering the country”, he said, adding: “In the UK these functions are exercised in a lawful and transparent way through the Immigration Act and enforced by the UK Border Agency.
“UK citizens expect those laws are enforced because confidence in our system of border control is sapped if it is perceived that foreigners are living here who have not been permitted to do so.
“An organised conspiracy to breach that law is therefore a serious offence.”
Domestic violence up 23% in just two years

Cases of domestic violence in Portugal increased by 23 percent in two years, from 20,394 cases in 2008 to 25,129 cases in 2010 (excluding violence towards minors), according to figures released during a seminar in Oporto.
The data was presented during a seminar to discuss the results of the Domestic Violence Aggressors Program (PAVD) that was implemented on a trial basis in 79 parishes of northern Portugal for a period of three years. This program is now due to be implemented throughout the country.
Isabel Batista, coordinator of the PAVD project team and of the Social Reintegration Authority, told Lusa News Agency that “the preliminary results of this program show positive changes in terms of aggressors self-control.”
The psychologist explained that the project was exclusively aimed at abusive partners, with the aim of preventing relapses of violence and started on 15 July 2009 and is due to end on 14 January.
“The results, which we consider satisfactory, despite the need to correct some points, show that aggressors don’t tend to attribute their behaviour to external factors as much and have improved their self-control,” she said.
According to Isabel Batista, these individuals have the tendency to trivialise and attribute their behaviour to external factors, but at the end of the 18 month program they assume responsibility for their actions.
“We currently have 123 aggressors frequenting the program, which includes various phases, in a total of 103 hours,” she said, adding that 20 individuals have concluded the PAVD course and a further 30 and in the final stages.
PAVD is a partner of the Commission for Citizenship and Equal Gender Rights and of the Social Reintegration Authority. The aim is to teach aggressors to assume responsibility for their behaviour and learn alternative strategies to violence.
Gang attempts second highway heist on A2 motorway
An armoured van carrying a large amount of money was forced to travel ten kilometres in the wrong direction on the A2 motorway after a gang ambushed it and tried to break into it using a digger.
It was the gang’s second attempt at such a robbery in as many weeks. If successful it would have landed them over a million euros.
This latest incident took place at around 11pm Sunday night near the 218 kilometre marker of the A2 Algarve-Lisbon motorway, direction south-north, close to the Messines flyover.
The gang waited for the Esegur transport van on a plot of land being used for construction set back from the motorway, armed with a lorry and the digger. It is believed the van was carrying over a million euros.
The gang managed to force the Esegur van’s driver to stop by blocking the road with the tanker truck and smashed the digger’s arm on the van’s roof. At the same time a jeep with a Dutch licence place tried to block the van by parking behind it.
When the driver saw he was being surrounded and his vehicle blocked in, he managed to reverse for around 500 metres then drove another 10 kilometres on the motorway in the wrong direction, using the emergency lane, flashing his lights and sounding an alarm until reaching the Messines GNR police station.
The police mounted a ring around the area in which the incident took place and later became engaged in crossfire with the assailants, but the attackers managed to escape, fleeing on foot through the countryside.
A source from Esegur told Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã that it was merely “by millimetres that the digger didn’t manage to tip the van over” and that it was due to the driver’s cold-blooded thinking that over a million euros was saved.
The first, almost identical incident took place some 15 days ago, also on the A2 motorway, near Grândola. In that instance the gang used a bus stolen from the Algarve-based disco Kadoc to act as a barrier, to block the Esegur van’s route. However that attempt was also botched and the bus was later set on fire. PJ police are convinced the two attempted heists were carried out by the same gang.
Another similar incident took place in 2008 on a Prosegur van, which later become known as the heist of the century after the assailants managed to escape with €2.5 million. In that incident the van was broken into using explosives. Laser or ‘red dot’ guns were also used during the robbery, a first for Portugal.
It is believed the gang had been given inside information which told them exactly where and at what time the van would be travelling.
The gang of five responsible for that robbery have still not been caught.
German immigrants protest austerity plan
Representatives of the Portuguese immigrant community in Germany have delivered a 4,000-signature petition to President Cavaco Silva protesting the planned closure of Portugal’s consular office in Frankfurt.
In a meeting with presidential aide José Luís Fernandes in Lisbon on Monday, the expat representatives said the move, part of austerity measures being implemented by the Foreign Ministry, would leave more than 25,000 Portuguese stranded without consular aid in that part of Germany.
Regional pharmacists impose COD policy

Chemists stores on the Atlantic island of Madeira stopped selling medicines at state-subsidised prices this week after the local government once again failed to keep its word about paying off its debts.
Prescriptions now have to be paid in full before the chemists will fill them. Regional finance secretary Ventura Garcês said they had asked Portugal’s central government to advance tax revenues but Lisbon had “only” sent €4.6 million, which was not enough to keep the pharmacist wolf from the door. The island’s pharmacies are demanding payment of at least €30 million out of a total of some €77 million saying they can no longer substitute the local authorities in funding drug supplies to local inhabitants.
New Portuguese spelling agreement takes effect

The Portuguese language orthographic agreement came into effect at the beginning of the year for all state organisms and entities in Portugal in accordance with the Council of Ministers decision on January 25, 2011.
The legislation stipulates not only the official spelling for the Portuguese language, but also the Lince language convertor as the IT support tool and available free from www.portaldalinguaportuguesa.org. While the spelling system has already been adopted by some media outlets, school textbooks and education materials are attributed a six-year transition period.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Basque sentenced to 12-year jail term

A panel of judges at Caldas da Rainha court sentenced alleged Basque terrorist Andoni Zengotitabengoa Fernandez to a total of 12 years imprisonment last Friday.
The alleged ETA terrorist was found guilty of belonging to a terrorist organisation, possession of explosives to commit terrorism, three counts of forgery, grand theft auto and resisting arrest, when he attempted to run over a police officer during a stop and search operation. The Chief Judge Paulo Coelho said the possession of explosives was the most serious crime “due to where the explosives were kept… which could have had disastrous consequences”. Fernandez lived in a house in Obidos, close to Caldas da Rainha where 1,500 kilos of explosives were found by police officers.

Pedro Silva
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