Almost a third of the adult refugees taken in by Portugal are “already in the labour market”. State minister Eduardo Cabrita – whose role could be likened to Portugal’s deputy prime minister – stresses the good news must be tempered by the fact that we’re dealing still with relatively small numbers. Portugal has received only 1,453 refugees so far of a quota that runs to almost 3,000.
But the news still represents ‘success’ inasmuch as the refugees in question have been integrated into society and are now taking an active role within it.
As to the future, new arrivals are expected any day now, 40 from camps in Greece, 20 from camps in Italy, while up to September this year, Cabrita said Portugal has received 700 “spontaneous requests” for international protection – a total that already exceeds the quota of spontaneous requests for 2016.
The ‘refugees’ in this group are people who arrive at the country’s borders or airports, explains RTP, and then lodge requests for protection.
Addressing the issue of refugees who have “fled the country” (usually bound for northern Europe), Cabrita explained that so far 319 people have been “identified in other countries, principally Germany”. Conversely, he cited data in which 22 refugees had returned to Portugal.
Cabrita said the possibility of further returns was “underway”.