PORTUGAL: PRESIDENT SAMPAIO LAUNCHES DIPLOMATIC OFFENSIVE TO PARDON THIRD WORLD DEBT

President Jorge Sampaio is to use his official meeting with foreign Ambassadors in Portugal, after his recent re-election as President of Portugal, to launch a diplomatic offensive on a series of issues. Firstly, he aims to create a common policy on immigration within the European Union, due to the fact that there are significant differences between the Member States. Portugal is in the process of legalising its new immigrants and many of these came over the border from Spain, where it is reportedly less easy to register for a work permit within the EU. President Sampaio intends to explain to the Ambassadors the themes which he intends to attack in his second (and final) term as President: social exclusion, public health, crime and the environment. He is of the opinion that these issues are no longer the prerogative of individual nations but of the international community as a whole, especially concerning measures to adopt against drugs trafficking or the traffic of human beings into extortion or prostitution rings but also in public health issues. The USA, for instance, recently feared that a passenger with Ebola had travelled on a flight from Africa but after diagnosis, the passenger was found to be suffering from another disease. However, the alert was launched, pointing to the future possibility of such an occurrence, which could create a public health calamity. President Sampaio considers that if the reduction of differences between states means a cancellation of debt from third world countries, this is an avenue to explore.

TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON