GNR could substitute SEF

Officers from the fiscal brigade of the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) may substitute for striking border control (SEF) staff during the forthcoming Euro 2004 football tournament that begins on June 12.

The decision is still not definite because the Council of Ministers would have to approve the handover of the task to the GNR. But the Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Nuno Magalhães, conceded the possibility of handing the mission to the GNR during a meeting with the union of SEF workers.

The Ministry of Internal Administration plans to take advantage of the GNR’s experience in regulating frontiers. Tavares Belo, in charge of the GNR’s public relations, admitted that the guard would be available to stand in for the SEF should this be requested.

The SEF union maintains that the strikes scheduled for this week and the Euro tournament stem from the non-payment of overtime during the last two years, a figure that they claim adds up to almost two million euros.