Constitutional Court outlaws Lisbon’s Civil Protection tax

Lisbon ratepayers heard this week that the Civil Protection tax imposed by the council under António Costa before he became prime minister is actually illegal, and should be stopped.

Constitutional Court judges delivered the bombshell (for the Socialist-led municipality) on Tuesday.

It implies the ‘pay back’ to ratepayers of no less than €58 million which Lisbon’s current mayor Fernando Medina has been raised this far by the tax, which he says is “essential” for the training and equipment of ‘bombeiro’ firefighters.

Talking to journalists this afternoon, the mayor who took the reins from Costa when the latter formed the current government in 2015 said it is now a question of finding out how to ‘take up the slack’: the issue of promoting professionalism among firefighters being one that cannot suffer cutbacks, particularly after a year like this one in which wildfires have claimed over 110 lives in blazes that have been dubbed “the worst ever in Portugal”.

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