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Portugal firms-up against terrorism

The council of ministers has today approved new rules and regulations for UCAT, Portugal’s anti-terrorism unit which up till now has functioned “informally”.

From now on, reports negociosonline, UCAT will have a proper structure and its own personnel.

But with France on a state of national emergency – with counter-terrorism raids ongoing since the Nice terror last week, Portugal’s leaders “reject that there is any link with this initiative and fears of vulnerability of the country to terrorist attacks”.

Justice minister Francisca Van Dunem stressed: “There is no risk of any specific attack on Portugal, nor even indication of the existence of any threats”.

The move is simply to ensure “security forces’ capacity to combat terrorism”, a way ahead to “confer greater efficiency to UCAT” which is essentially a platform used by security forces to exchange information.

Staff will now be recruited from “the various security forces that already make up this unit, namely SSI (internal security), SIRP (State information system), SIS and SIED (secret services), the PJ, PSP, GNR, SEF and maritime police.

The Council of Ministers also approved the “Paris Agreement on Climate Change”, which will now go before parliament for ratification.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com