Setúbal reception of Ukraine refugees to be probed in full
"If it comes to light, and if it is confirmed that the treatment was ... negligent and intolerable by a municipality, it will be investigated to the last consequences," said Ana Catarina Mendes.
Portugal’s minister for justice and parliamentary affairs said on Tuesday that the procedures by which refugees from Ukraine are being received in Setúbal will be investigated “to its ultimate consequences” for any confirmation of “negligent and intolerable” treatment by the municipality.
“If it comes to light, and if it is confirmed that the treatment was … negligent and intolerable by a municipality, it will be investigated to the last consequences,” said Ana Catarina Mendes, in a hearing in parliament as part of disucssion on the 2022 budget bill, in response to questions from Catarina Rocha Ferreira of the opposition centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) on the reception of refugees in Setúbal.
The minister recalled that an inquiry is already underway at the National Data Protection Commission (CNPD) to find out whether any illegalities were committed in the reception of refugees from Ukraine in Setúbal, and that an investigation has also been requested from the Inspectorate General of Finance (IGF).
“This government will not allow the law to be violated and, much less, that those who arrive here are not treated with dignity and respect,” assured the minister, who is one of the most senior members of the Socialist executive.
Her comments came in the wake of the controversy over reports that refugees from Ukraine had been received, and their details taken and photocopied, by the Russian president of a pro-Kremlin association purporting to represent immigrants form Eastern Europe.
The minister was speaking at a joint hearing of the committees of constitutional affairs, rights, freedoms and guarantees, of budget and finance, and of culture, media, youth and sport.
The 2022 budget bill tabled by the Socialist government is to be debated in committee from 23 to 25 May, with the final reading and vote is scheduled for 27 May. The Socialists have a majority in the assembly.