Finance workers of Algarve tax departments are due to undertake self defence and weapons training to protect themselves against a rising number of attacks from a growing number of unemployed people.
The initiative that aims to teach employees how to defend themselves in dangerous situations is due to take place on June 30 in Albufeira.
The Albufeira department that have received the most armed attacks, and will implement defence techniques inspired by the martial arts.
The regional delegate of the Algarve Workers Taxation Union (STI), António Frazão, spoke to the Lusa news agency stating: “Due to the growing state of violence, officials are afraid and I believe that this is the result of the mounting pressure that tax payers feel.”
He revealed that only a few weeks ago an official working for the Finanças de Lagos was attacked early in the morning by one of the customers, and another case saw an employee’s car from the Finanças de Faro, torched during the night.
So far this year there have been six cases of aggression reported that have seriously endangered the physical integrity of tax administration officials.
Many tax payers are falling behind on payments, which results in deductions from their salaries or seizure of personal possessions. This can lead to inflamatory situations; the tax employees are working under instruction, but the tax payer becomes increasingly irate and feels the need to defend himself.
President of the STI, Paulo Ralha said: “People do not have money and the burden of tax payments becomes a heavy weight on them, causing them to rebel against whoever is in front of them.”
“I do not want to equip workers with weapons, but with skills to continue to work correctly,” he concluded.
Vacancies available on the course provided by STI, have been quickly filled and due to the eagerness shown by employees, the organisation is already for planning and preparing further sessions.