Portuguese detained in Australia launch petition asking "urgently" for repatriation

in News · 25-03-2020 16:52:00 · 1 Comments

The more than 100 Portuguese detained in Australia and without work, because of the pandemic of the covid-19, on 25 March launched a petition, which already has 340 signatures, asking "urgently" for repatriation.

"The signers of this petition hereby see asking the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for help to return to Portugal", reads the document's title.

In the document, the Portuguese explain that, due to "the state of world emergency" related to the covid-19, they were left without work, and due to the threat of predictably staying without "if, as in Portugal, the closure of temporary residences as 'hostels' and hotels".

For this reason, they say that they feel "in danger" and without the possibility of sustaining themselves for an indefinite period of time, but also due to the lack of basic means of survival, such as housing.

In this context, they consider that they need to "return to Portugal". "But the few flights that still take place to Europe have exorbitant prices that most of us cannot afford", they add.

In addition, even for those who can buy there is "the high risk of cancelling them and the loss of the respective amount", they reinforce.

In Australia, the borders of the states have closed and there are states like Western Australia (WA), without a Portuguese consulate, which makes consular aid to the Portuguese detained there impossible, they add.

"We urgently ask for the repatriation of the Portuguese detained in Australia to take place, as has already happened elsewhere," they conclude in the text of the petition.

On Tuesday, more than 100 Portuguese in Australia, the majority working in the country until the crisis of the covid-19, appealed to the Government to help them return to Portugal, since the Portuguese consular services in Australia were sending commercial flights, which, they say, are being cancelled and "at very high prices".

The group, which includes some Portuguese tourists, met through the social network Facebook and now seeks, through the Whatsapp platform, to find a joint solution to their problem.

The "common goal" is to return to Portugal, because the hotels, restaurants and companies where they worked have closed, and without a salary it is difficult to live in a country where "rents and food are very expensive", said Diogo Sobral.

Lusa contacted the office of the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities, Berta Nunes, about this request, but has not yet received a response.


What were they detained for?

By Rony from Lisbon on 26-03-2020 04:43
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