Red Cross “ready to construct refugee camp in the Algarve”

While Opposition parties are sniping at the government over the number of refugees Portugal is preparing to take in, an Algarve delegation of the Red Cross has said it is ready to allow land it has in Fuzeta to be used for a refugee camp.

The Moncarrapacho-Fuzeta delegation says the 1700-metre site was earmarked for a creche, but as birthrates nationally have plummeted, this plan has been shelved.

Delegation president António Palma offered the land to the Portuguese council in charge of refugees (the CPR) in July, shortly after prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho announced the country would be taking 1400 of the original 2400 quota proposed by Brussels.

The idea, writes Expresso, is that refugees would first be housed in temporary buildings, while their children would be offered places in local schools and playgroups and authorities would set about giving them work placements.

The document sent by the Red Cross delegation claimed “the creation of a refugee centre would be in the interest of all parties involved, creating a new economic dynamic in an area that is rather weak”.

As the story is picked up by the rest of the country’s media, it appears CPR president Teresa Tito de Morais has told Expresso that there is the possibility of another refugee centre being built in the north, in Matosinhos, “although nothing is certain” yet.

Offers to help the refugees said to be on their way in October (click here) have not only come from institutions.

Tens of families have been in touch with the CPR in the last week, all offering places in their homes for refugee families, or orphaned children, writes Diário de Notícias.

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