ASAE inspectors who targeted British food stores across the Algarve earlier this month have not returned to re-inspect and give the all clear for shops to return to business.
Michelle Walker from M&J’s Food Store in Albufeira told the Algarve Resident: “The ASAE inspectors said that they would return in five days but have not yet come back to re-inspect the shop.” (see the Algarve Resident edition, July 10).
A spokesman from Algoz-based food store Let the Magic In said: “We were told that we cannot sell anything except Portuguese products and basic items like bread, milk, newspapers and greetings cards. We are still waiting for the inspectors to return so that we can sell all our products.” At the time of going to press on Wednesday, no one from ASAE was available to comment.
Meanwhile, discussions have been held this week in a Lisbon court, the Tribunal de Relação de Lisboa, as to whether the powers held by ASAE are legal within the Portuguese Constitution.
If the judges deem the powers to be unconstitutional, all pending cases investigated by ASAE will be dropped.
The national confederation for commerce and services, Confederação do Comércio e Serviços de Portugal, has also said that whether ASAE is constitutional or not, the personnel are at times over zealous in their work.