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Head of SEF sacked in immigration row

SEFThe director of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) was fired on Wednesday, October 4th, after a meeting with the Minister of Internal Affairs, Constança Urbano de Sousa.

No reason for the sacking of Luísa Maia Gonçalves has been given but the likelihood is that it was due to the simmering row over changes to the immigration laws which the SEF was known to oppose.

Gonçalves, praised by PM António Costa and Constança Urbano de Sousa for her "recognised qualifications, professional experience and training required to perform the duties in question," was appointed 18 months ago following an earlier conflict between the minister and the previous SEF director, António Carlos de Bessa Pereira.

Minister, Constança Urbano de Sousa, fired Luísa Maia Gonçalves before going on personally to receive the pop personality, Madonna, in a private after hours meeting to fast-track a visa.

The singer remains accommodated in a Lisbon hotel while her house search continues. 

This intervention will have been out of SEF's control but is unusual, with Correio da Manhã reporting that Madonna’s visa application has been fast tracked as the minister considered her “a unique personality of enormous international fame with all this represents for the image of our country, for example for tourism and the economy.”

Whether the minister will face criticism from her colleagues, opposition MPs and the media, for the preferential treatment given to Madonna Louise Ciccone, remains to be seen in tomorrow's papers. 

The working environment already was poor between Gonçalves and her minister as the new immigration laws have seen the SEF having to deal with thousands of applications after the entry requirements were relaxed without regard for potential volume of applicants, many of whom already are in Portugal illegally.

The SEF was faced with 4,000 applications in the first week of the new entry regime.

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Comments  

0 #5 Ludmila 2017-10-08 07:55
I wonder if she will be able to import her limousine without paying the tax to register it in Portugal
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+5 #4 Wilma 2017-10-05 10:07
Maybe Luísa Maia Gonçalves objected to the fast-tracking of a residence permit for a soft-porn performer turned (allegedly) singer. :P
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-2 #3 Ed 2017-10-05 09:56
Quoting wink:
Madona who?


Madonna Louise Ciccone - a chanteuse of some repute, I am led to believe...
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+1 #2 wink 2017-10-05 09:54
Madona who?
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+2 #1 Mike Towl 2017-10-05 06:42
“a unique personality of enormous international fame with all this represents for the image of our country, for example for tourism and the economy.” You cannot be serious!
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