Journalist - The 'Madeleine McCann' case turned the relations between both countries difficult, mainly because of the media mutually attacking each other. You, Mr. Ambassador were strongly criticized by statements given in an interview to 'The Times' newspaper by the well known columnist Tony Parsons. Was this the most difficult case of your commission?
Ambassador - No. The story had a great media attention. What I said is that there are many more kidnappings in the UK than in Portugal, and no one mentioned that. There are speculations and books written [on the case], but we do not know what has happened. As far as I know the parents called first the media before the police. There were some problems with the lack of information and misunderstanding, since the British do not have the concept of secrecy of Justice. Besides 'The Times', I gave four other interviews on the British television stressing the importance for both countries police authorities to work together. There was even data that was investigated in British laboratories. Portugal was not trying to hide anything. The case was archived because there weren't evidence [material proves], but it might be reopened. I will not make value judgments, the parents lived difficult moments. I understand their pain because I have a son.
Journalist - Did the relations between both countries return to what they were?
Ambassador - Yes. I did not feel any kind of antagonism from anyone. In the statements given to 'The Times', I have said a few things which seem evident to me. For example, that we as Latins privilege the nuclear family, all together, and that we do not leave children alone. That was perceived as criticism. I also said that there was too much media attention, and that that has hindered the investigation.
Journalist - And now that you are going to retire, what do you intend to do?
Ambassador - I hope I have more time to dedicate myself to activities that give me pleasure, like playing golf. Here I could only practice it every two months. Besides that, I do not plan to be inactive but as of now I still haven't made any plans.
in DN Portuguese Communities, 30.05.2010 - by Rubina Vieira
'Oh, Up Yours Senor', Daily Mirror, 29 October 2007
'You have many more abductions than Portugal, but nobody talks about that', Times online October 27 2007
'Embaixador português atacado na imprensa inglesa', SOL, 30 Outubro 2007
11 Belgrave Square
London SW1X 8PP
t: (020) 7235 5331
f: (020) 7245 1287
google map link
3 Portland Place
t: 0870 005 6970
Portuguese National Tourist Office
11, Belgrave Square, London, SW1X 8PP
UK brochure line: 0845 355 1212 (Local Call)
f: (020) 7201 6633