Controlled chaos at Portuguese consulate in London

Portuguese citizens living in UK are finding little joy if they need to enlist the help and support of the Portuguese Consulate.

Certainly, the London office in Portland Place appears to be staggering in a form of controlled chaos.

People who have been given appointment slots months in advance are turning up to find a sandwich board asking them to “Wait here until you are called” – and still many are turned away at the end of the day leaving without whatever it is they came for.

“It happens all the time,” an indignant Ismália Erica de Sousa told SIC TV news, explaining that many people have to travel considerable distances for their appointments, and this kind of treatment is simply not acceptable.

SIC also heard that the delays have left some émigrés with no valid papers at all.

This week, tempers rose as the consulate yet again threatened to close its doors on around 15 people who had turned up for appointments. Police were called “to ensure calm”.

“People simply wanted the minimum service, perhaps an apology,” explained de Sousa. “There was no attack or tumult. People wanted only to be seen on the day they had been told they would be seen.”

SIC reports that the problems at the consulate stretch back to November last year and appear to have “no end in sight”.

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