24 February 2022

All outlets focus on Russian military operations in Ukraine and reports of explosions across the country. There are reports of yet another cyberattack, this time on the Foreign Ministry, with the Minister responsible saying nothing had been compromised. The Health Minister has responded to reports of an attack on health professionals and a security guard at a hospital in the north of the country, and Chega leader, André Ventura, has had his Twitter account permanently suspended.

In a telephone interview with RTP, FM Augusto Santos Silva (pictured) said the current situation in Ukraine is “very, very, very serious on the ground”. He said he has already spoken with the Portuguese ambassador in Kyiv and expressed Portugal’s solidarity with the Ukrainian people, then appealed to Portuguese and Luso-Ukrainian citizens in the country to remain “vigilant and protect themselves” and await instructions from the embassy. RTP quotes Defence Minister João Gomes Cravinho stating Portugal, which has been providing Ukraine with non-lethal military aid, is ready to take part in NATO actions as part of the organisation’s Rapid Reaction Force.

Expresso and Público report that Twitter has permanently suspended Chega leader André Ventura’s account for violating the social network’s rules regarding “hate spreading conduct”, including hate speech and incitement to violence, following his recent tweet on the “dangers of uncontrolled Islamic immigration”. Ventura is reported to be considering taking legal action.

Público and DN report a cyberattack on the Foreign Ministry was detected by the Security Intelligence Service. The incident is currently being investigated by the Judicial Police. FM Santos Silva told the media that nothing has been compromised, saying “Unfortunately, these days we are always subject to cyberattacks, which we are responding to and overcoming” and adding “very significant investment is being made to strengthen the Foreign Ministry’s computer networks”.

A story in Lusa, picked up by Expresso and CNN PT, reports Health Minister Marta Temido has expressed her “great concern and great sorrow” on hearing the news that a group of people, allegedly from the same family, assaulted two health professionals and a security guard at a hospital in the northern town of Vila Nova de Famalicão. The minister said, “I can only denounce all acts of aggression against those who are doing their job, particularly people who are working to help others, and extend my sympathies to the victims of this unspeakable act”.

Dinheiro Vivo picks up a story from Lusa citing Gonçalo Lobo Xavier, Director-General of the Portuguese Association of Distribution Companies, claiming pressure on food prices, which have already increased by around 10%, will continue until the second quarter.

Negócios and Expresso report on the €600 million acquisition by EDP Renováveis of 91% of Singapore solar energy company Sunseap, “the largest distributed solar company and one of the top 4 solar companies in Southeast Asia” with a 10GW project portfolio, of which 563MW are in operation or under construction.

Público quotes Andy Brown, Chief Executive of Portuguese oil company Galp speaking on the current energy crisis and the energy effects of the escalating tensions in Ukraine, where he claims “there is not enough liquefied natural gas available to replace all Russian gas”.

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