At a news conference at the end of his trip to New Bedford, as part of his trip to the United States, Bertha Nunes justified the Govt-19 epidemic with long-awaited lists for difficulties in making help and online appointments.
"The impact of the epidemic is that embassies have not been able to attend in person for some time", which has affected normal functioning and forced restoration, which is still ongoing, according to the Secretary of State.
The government official said the embassy network has received staff reinforcements every year, including last year, but is one of the biggest issues at U.S. centers regarding payments to new workers.
"There is a problem with recruiting and retaining people because we are currently paying here in the United States," Berta Nunes said, noting the difficulties embassies have in "recruiting and retaining people domestically."
"We look forward to negotiating with the respective unions and approving the new pay schedules by the end of this year, which will resolve this issue at our embassies," he replied.
The dematerialisation process for obtaining or distributing documents introduced in Portugal online is also being tested in diaspora countries.
"If these dematerialisation activities are important to Portugal, they are very important to the communities," Berta Nunes said.
The Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities highlights the registration of births in a virtual format, the first step already extended to France and the United Kingdom, such as renewing an online citizen card or sending a citizen card by mail. .
“It is considered that all clean-up operations by the Portuguese government should be extended to our consulates, mainly in countries where we have very large communities, but also to others,” the official said.
One of the priorities for the embassy network in the United States is the launch of the Remote Embassy Service Center, which is "part of a new embassy management model," said Bertha Nunes.
"There are already training centers in Portugal for responding to phone calls, & # 39; answering emails, making appointments and providing information, which vary from country to country," he explained.
“The epidemic had a very strong impact, but on the other hand the epidemic prompted us to expedite all of these activities so that we could respond to people in need of diplomatic services,” concluded Bertha Nunes.
When asked about the expansion of the embassy network to other points in the United States that have been receiving more Portuguese in recent years, the Secretary of State said that the "evolution of the Portuguese community" is being monitored, but that strengthening the strategy includes adding other services to the "embassy" or nearby locations.
"Resources are always limited, but yes, we know our community is moving to Texas (…) and elsewhere, and we are following this evolution of our community," said Bertha Nunes.