“In Portugal, we have the financial capacity, under the Asylum and Migration Fund managed by the Ministry of Internal Administration, to receive, with the current resources, people in the hundreds”, said Eduardo Cabrita.
Speaking to the Portuguese press in Brussels, at the end of a meeting of the interior ministers of the European Union (EU) on Afghanistan, he stated that it was "a matter of resource management", noting that "Portugal's priorities are defined" and they are based on receiving people from the most vulnerable groups, that is, “women, children, human rights activists and journalists”.
This is as long as “interest is expressed”, he added.
Hours after the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, pointed out a total of around 400 people who could be welcomed in Portugal, Eduardo Cabrita even admitted “a little more than that”, but rejected setting quotas.
“The number of 50 [Afghan refugees] initially mentioned has already been surpassed,” he said.
The meeting of EU interior ministers took place on a “day to turn the page”, with the end of the US presence in Kabul, and when “18 people from three families” arrived in Portugal.
“With the group that arrived in Lisbon, we now have 84 Afghan citizens who, since last Friday, have been arriving in Portugal in various groups,” concluded Eduardo Cabrita.