Foreign minister denies Portugal is China’s ‘special friend in the EU’

Minister says UK “can’t explain political or technical reasons” for blanking quarantine-free travel to Portugal

Reacting to Portugal’s continued exclusion from the UK’s ‘safe travel green list’ Portugal’s minister for foreign affairs Augusto Santos Silva has said “there is no known or even public facts and data” to justify it.

Talking from parliament, he stressed said that “so far” the British government “has not been capable of explaining the political or technical reasons for its decision”.

“Lamenting” today’s utter bombshell, the minister said the Portuguese government “will now wait for British authorities to evolve” (meaning, ‘see sense’).

He referred to “conversations with (his) British counterpart” (Dominic Raab), in which “the Portuguese government demonstrated that the national situation was very positive”.

The ‘trouble spots’ in 19 Lisbon parishes are becoming much less troublesome. Mayor Fernando Medina has only today been saying that some of the lockdowns are ready to be lifted.

Thus there is a sense of profound mystification as diplomatic sources continue to work “tirelessly” to see the safe-travel ‘air bridge’ finally granted.

Addressing the 40,000 Britons who have made Portugal their home – and are invariably affected by this situation at a time when relatives would normally be visiting – the minister said: “We value you a great deal, and we are very proud that you chose to live in Portugal”.

He added: “We hope that any day now, any week now, reality prevails, data is respected and the situation is reverted”.

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