Minister Rodrigues, who was speaking at a business lunch organised by the Portuguese-Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Lisbon, stressed that her description of Portugal as among the safest of countries was drawn from various studies and international indicators.
Despite three years of austerity policies under the economic adjustment programme required under its euro-zone bailout, she said, violence had not increased.
“The start of this programme led some to predict an inevitable increase in violence and crime, but with the programme now ended we can say that none of the catastrophic scenarios materialised.”
According to the minister, the level of crime in general and violent and serious crime in particular has been falling since 2008, with 2013 being the best year in the past decade.
Early figures for 2014 were, she added, “very encouraging and seem to confirm this notable and continuous downward tendency in crime.”
This, she said, was thanks to “the civic maturity” of the Portuguese and “their unshakeable sense of responsibility” as well as “the professionalism, the spirit of mission, the dedication and the verve” of Portugal’s police.