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Portugal's interior minister quits over 'golden visa' corruption probe

Portugal's interior minister quits over 'golden visa' corruption probe
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An investigation into alleged corruption linked to the issuing of so-called “golden visas” to wealthy foreigners in Portugal has claimed another scalp.

This time its the country’s interior minister Miguel Macedo who has quit due to his connections to a company identified in the probe, but he has denied any wrongdoing.

“The function of the minister of the interior has many demands made of him and has to work in areas of great sensitivity . To do this he must be able to command authority in order to carry out his responsibilities. It is my opinion my political authority has been diminished and a minister cannot function efficiently under these circumstances….. that is is why I have handed in my resignation,” said Miguel Macedo.

Last week police arrested 11 senior government officials including Manuel Jarmela Palos who is the head of the frontier police agency SEF.

Portugal launched the “golden visa” scheme in 2012 while grappling with a debt crisis. It gave residency permits to non-EU citizens who invested in houses and luxury apartments. It has brought in more than one billion euros.

The corruption probe is looking into accusations of money laundering.