For the president of the Regional Council of Central and South America, António Graça, this is a "very serious" problem, which must be resolved as quickly as possible, otherwise the eventual stoppage will cause serious damage to users.

"According to information I have had, they are paying an average of around 400 euros to consular officials, an amount well below what an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) or civil servants in Portugal earns. Four hundred euros is nothing", said the advisor to the Government's consultative body for policies relating to Portuguese communities abroad.

At issue is a decision by the Portuguese executive, taken in 2013, which, in the midst of the economic crisis in Portugal, determined that the salaries of civil servants would be paid in reais (Brazilian current currency), at a fictitious exchange rate of 2.63.

However, currently, the euro is quoted at 6.30 reais, having already reached 6.60 reais this month.

"Inflation began in Brazil and the currency started to devalue, and there was never an adjustment in relation to these salaries, which began to lag behind due to the exchange rate. How can a consular employee want to work and serve the public? They can’t, people are working without any enthusiasm," he stressed.

According to António Graça, in 2020, at a meeting of the Regional Council, this matter had already been addressed and they contacted the MNE. "We were told they were going to make a deal, but that deal was never made," he says.

In a letter sent by António Graça to Lusa, consular officials addressed the Union of Consular Workers, Diplomatic Missions and Central Services (STCDE) of the MNE to warn that they have reached "their limit" and that they will move towards a general strike, with a date yet to be set.