The Portuguese government has reacted swiftly and effectively to a wave of violence which started to sweep through Lisbon’s night life in recent weeks. Attacks with guns and knives have unfortunately become more and more frequent, as drugs traffickers take a grip on Portugal’s capital city. Twenty years ago, Lisbon was described as “The Pearl of the Atlantic” by a popular poet. Today, daylight attacks with syringes are frequent, as drug addicts threaten victims with the AIDS virus to extort money. Last month, a student had his throat slit with a knife by a drug addict to whom he had refused to give money. He died. Attacks by gangs of delinquents on shopping centres happen on a weekly basis. The Portuguese start to react. With burnings and shootings in discotheques taking place more and more frequently, the Portuguese government responds with a string of measures. All people entering a discotheque will be searched and will have to pass through an arms detection machine. This is a sad comment on the nightlife of a beautiful city, one which hosts around 100,000 immigrants from the CIS countries, which prides itself on its hospitality and whose residents express their stupefaction at the wave of violence which sweeps through the city every weekend. Behind this is the common denominator, drugs. Until this scourge is removed, there will be no peace, no public safety and no street, anywhere, where one can walk at ease.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT.HINCHEY, PRAVDA.RU, LISBON
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