Maritime security must be boosted

Portugal’s coastline security need to be reinforced, according to Mourato Nunes, Commander of the GNR, after it emerged that this was the area where security forces fell short of expectations last year.

Speaking during the Lisbon GNR’s 93rd anniversary celebrations, Nunes said that investments in coastline vigilance were urgently needed, “so we can face complex and current threats, such as drug trafficking and illegal immigration”.

The Commander acknowledged that, although Portugal was still one of the countries in the world with the best security conditions, “there continues to be a sense of unease” in the country, especially regarding the Euro 2004 football tournament. But Nunes warned that attention to security must not focus exclusively on sporting spectaculars. “The most problematic situations can emerge in any place, far from sporting stadiums,” he said. “In these times all different members of the security forces have to resist the temptation to fall into silly rivalries. Instead we should learn to reap the advantages of mutual co-operation.”

President Sampaio echoed this need for greater comradeship, saying it was necessary to create “a culture of solidarity in Portugal, in which everyone feels jointly responsible for security”.