The PSD on Saturday denounced the embassy in London as a “major delay in the processing of identity documents”, questioning the foreign ministry on the reasons that led to the decision to close the services. Social Democrats point out that the waiting period for the release of the documents is “already over eight months.”
“As of this week, the Portuguese consulate in London is resuming its normal opening hours,” the PSD parliamentary committee recalled in a question to Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva.
The site will cease to function on Saturdays, “and will be held at the Portuguese consulate in Manchester in September”. According to the party, the government’s decision is a “slander to our comrades” and leaves the service in a “pre-decay” situation.
The PSD says Portuguese residents in the United Kingdom “continue to face problems with appointments to renew citizens’ cards and passports”, noting that some of these appointments are already scheduled “only for March 2022”.
The party condemns the decision to close the branches on Saturday without “any alternative”. Recalling that the issue had already been raised in November, Social Democrats at the time recalled that “the government said it would resolve the situation by strengthening human resources and maintaining extended start-up hours on both the IT resources and the embassy general.”
In this way, the administrator’s decision “absolutely contradictory” compared to the response by the end of 2020, which protects the PSD. The party insists that embassies in the United Kingdom continue to provide “complete and adequate response” to Portuguese nationals living in the country, even though the “period for candidature for EU citizenship has already expired”. .
The PSD’s question calls on the government to announce that “concrete steps” will be taken to rectify the situation “in the short term” and ask the executive to “get available” to reverse the decision to close embassy services on Saturdays. The party also defends the strengthening of embassies in terms of staff and information technology.