Martin Schulz praised Portugal for how it integrates refugees during a visit to the country on Friday 3 June during which he met political leaders and organisations dealing with refugees and the homeless.It's the sixth time that Schulz has visited Portugal as president of the European Parliament.
Schulz praised Portugal for its welcoming approach to refugees during a visit to a refugee reception centre in Bobadela, which currently hosts 271 people. "This is a model to be followed by all 28 member states, which have to take up their responsibilities in this matter," he said. Schulz also gave the example of the kindergarten where Portuguese children mingle with children from other countries, calling it "the best way to combat racism and xenophobia".
The President also visited the Chapitô school, which uses circus arts to promote social inclusion, and homeless association CAIS, where he agreed to be the editor of the October edition of the institution's magazine. In addition he met Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Prime Minister António Costa as well as Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, President of the national parliament.
After meeting the Prime Minister, Schulz answered questions from journalists on possible financial sanctions to Portugal for exceeding the 3% target of deficit in 2015. "There is a very good cooperation between the Portuguese authorities and Brussels and solutions can be found without additional measures and without sanctions," he said.