The drama which is lived by the Eastern European immigrants is highlighted by the fact that in Portugal, one Ukrainian dies every two days.
The deaths are due to accidents at work, road accidents (Portugal has the worst record in the EU and the second worst in Europe) and deaths at the hands of the evil extortionists who victimise their own countrymen abroad, although these are in the sights of the Portuguese police force and are being rounded up almost daily.
In the last three months, according to the Embassy of the Ukraine in Lisbon, 46 Ukrainian nationals have died, mostly in road accidents. In 2001, the figure was 134, among the population of Ukrainians now estimated to be 200,000 in Portugal, although only 47,000 are legalised.
The Embassy confirmed that it is stretched by the fact that it has to find the families and organise the translocation of the bodies. There are six bodies of Ukrainians currently lying in Portuguese morgues, unclaimed by the families. If the average monthly salary in the Ukraine is 45 USD, the cost of transporting the cremated body from Portugal to the Ukraine is 1,370 USD, a figure out of reach for most families. The cost of transporting an uncremated body is three to four times higher.
It is advisable for emigrants from eastern Europe to ponder very carefully if it is worthwhile risking everything unless they have a certain, safe job to go to.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Europe has recognised the need for negotiations with Russia to discuss the security system on the continent. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is going to Macedonia for meetings with colleagues within the OSCE