“For Chega, it is one thing to receive all the war refugees that come from Ukraine, it is another thing to receive – and this is what we are completely against – people who come from Bangladesh, Nepal, a series of other countries that have nothing what to do with this war […] they come from Ukraine, but we don't have to attend to them, they are from other countries, they are not Ukrainians”, declared Chega's municipal deputy Bruno Mascarenhas.
In response, the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas (PSD), affirmed the vision of a multicultural city: “There is no doubt about that, nor can there be, in relation to my positioning and what an open city should be”.
Regarding the statements of the deputy from Chega, the councillor for Human and Social Rights, Laurinda Alves (independently elected by the PSD/CDS-PP/MPT/PPM/Aliança coalition), considered it “regrettable that a voice that expresses racism is given a voice” in the house of democracy in the city of Lisbon, in this case the municipal assembly.
“Sir, your voice was a racist voice and it is absolutely intolerable. I will tell you the number of people that you would leave out as people with an infra-human condition, on the doorstep of the city, on the doorstep of the country, in a basement of the world that you imagine could exist: 53 people from Bangladesh, 93 people from Nepal, 345 people from India, 107 people from Pakistan, 199 people from Belarus. If you want to do the maths and tell me what you do with these people, because looking at their skin colour and looking at their culture of origin, you don't accept them, but these people all resided in Ukraine, they are refugees like the Ukrainian people, and tomorrow this could happen to you”, stated Laurinda Alves, a position that received strong applause from the vast majority of deputies.
In defense, Bruno Mascarenhas intervened again and said: “The councillor confuses racism with defending taxpayers, what we are talking about here is the following: we do not have resources for everyone”.
“Prefer to protect Portuguese”
“This has nothing to do with skin colour. It has to do with us, we have many Portuguese people here, many people from Lisbon who live in very complicated situations, the council is not rich and cannot accommodate everyone, what is intended is for these people to be prioritised, and I don't have the slightest problem to tell people face to face that I prefer to protect the Portuguese than to protect those who come from outside, and our exception is for true Ukrainians, not for economic migrants”, pointed out the Chega deputy.
The final word was given by councillor Laurinda Alves: “Our option is for true human beings”.