Presidential guard under attack from mould and infiltrations

“It is inadmissible that in the 21st century the GNR is having to cope with these kind of situations”.

So says union boss José Alho in a story this week on the horrendous working conditions suffered by the presidential guard: a body of ten men whose “health and wallets” are compromised daily as a result of the abysmal conditions at their base at Calçada de Ajuda, in Lisbon.

“Mould, and water streaming from the ceiling, walls and floor, bunks above an armaments store, bathrooms and lavatories with no ventilation and only accessible through sleeping quarters”.

These are just the worst of the ignominies suffered by the “guard of honour” (Guarda de Honra) that have resulted in at least four becoming ill, and every one of the group having to replace soiled boots and uniforms out of their own pockets.

Today’s Correio da Manhã highlights images of peeling passages stained with damp, saying they were captured only after a “profound clean” of the facilities undertaken as a result of the guard of honour’s bitter complaints.

According to the paper, many issues, like blocked drains, have to be “resolved by the police agents themselves” as they know only too well that their complaints will be treated “lightheartedly”.

The issue is all the more galling, says José Alho, as there are Ministry of Defence facilities available that are in much better conditions and which “could be used” by the guard, as they too qualify as ‘military personnel’.

CM said that its attempts to clarify the situation with GNR public relations have so far failed to receive any response.

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