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Portugal accelerated the nationalization of Roman Abramovich after pressure from the Jewish community in Porto.

Latest NewsPortugal accelerated the nationalization of Roman Abramovich after pressure from the Jewish community in Porto.

The naturalization of Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich as a Portuguese citizen was not delayed by other claimants to the Jewish religion, who took advantage of legislation allowing descendants of Sephardim expelled from the Iberian Peninsula in the fifteenth century to apply for Portuguese citizenship. . According to an investigation by Público newspaper, Porto’s Jewish community pressured B’nai B’rith International by sending an email to the Central Registry address to expedite processing for “reasons of national interest” that affect the government itself. [una organización judaica internacional fundada en 1843] and a group of Portuguese Sephardim who are on the Forbes list and do not need Portugal to “make” money, do business or other “conspiracies”.

The email also mentioned a meeting between Pedro Siza Vieira, then Minister of Economy and Digital Transition, with members of the leadership of Porto’s Jewish community to discuss future investment in the country of Portuguese Jews. Siza Vieira was invited to the international B’nai B’rith event, in which Roman Abramovich also participated as a speaker.

The request is in effect. The Russian oligarch became Portuguese on April 30, 2021, six months after his case was submitted to the Central Register. However, the average delay in resolving these requests then ranged from 24 to 29 months. Abramovich is one of 56,686 Jews who became Portuguese between 2015 and 2021. over 80,000 files are still pending.

Upon receiving a letter from the Jewish community in Porto, the director of the central registry service replied that she considered the Russian billionaire’s case “urgent” and that it would be decided in less than ten months. All reports requested by the Judicial Police, the Aliens and Borders Service and the Directorate-General for the Administration of Justice were processed quickly. None of them faced obstacles that would prevent them from granting Abramovich Portuguese citizenship, unlike what happened in Switzerland, which, despite being a country not very allergic to dubious money, in 2017 denied the oligarch granting a residence permit, considering it a “threat”. “for public safety and risk to reputation” of the country.

The Abramovich case drew attention to the entire process of granting citizenship to the descendants of Sephardim expelled from the Iberian Peninsula, regulated by a decree of March 2015 and amended in 2020. The rule was drafted with great carelessness and left to the discretion of the Jewish communities. Porto and Lisbon have the right to issue certificates for obtaining Portuguese citizenship. In six years, 137,087 files were processed. Of these, 90% were operated by Porto, which is currently under judicial investigation to determine if there have been influence peddling, active corruption, document forgery, money laundering, tax fraud and criminal association.

Other millionaires, such as Lev Leviev, known as the diamond king, a friend of Abramovich, and Berl Lazar, the chief rabbi of Russia and close to Putin, were also certified in 2020 by the community of Porto as descendants of Iberian Sephardim, although there is no evidence that he has already received citizenship and became the second richest Portuguese in the world. The first is Roman Abramovich.

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