Sweden has new consul in Algarve to support growing Swedish community in region

His connection to the Swedish community in the Algarve is not new, but it will go deeper now. Rui Horta […]

His connection to the Swedish community in the Algarve is not new, but it will go deeper now. Rui Horta has been Sweden's new honorary consul in the Algarve for about a week, an extension of the embassy of this Nordic country in Portugal that was created a few years ago to respond to the growing Swedish community that has chosen the region to live in, passing part of the year or simply visit.

The Tavirense lawyer was the personality chosen to be the face of the Kingdom of Sweden in the Algarve, replacing him in the position Peter Morawetz, with which I already collaborated. The “consecration” of Rui Horta as honorary consul took place last Friday, in a session that took place in Tavira and in which he officially took office.

The Swedish ambassador to Portugal was present at the ceremony Caroline Fleetwood, who did not hide her satisfaction with the profile of the new consul.

«Mr. Rui Horta already worked with the former honorary consul Peter Morawetz and I know he is an excellent person, very well known in the community. It's a good choice for the job. Being a lawyer is very important because you know how things work and can explain to people. I am very happy that he accepted my invitation”, he told the Sul Informação the Swedish ambassador.

The existence of a Swedish consulate in the Algarve is increasingly justified, given the growing number of Swedes living in the region.

«The Swedish community is nothing new in the Algarve, but the great boom was more recent, in the last six or seven years. It has grown significantly and Tavira has been a favorite place for the Swedes, we already have enough here. This was one of the reasons that led to the installation of a Swedish consulate in the Algarve about two years ago and that it continues to exist», explained Rui Horta, speaking to Sul Informação.

«It is not possible to have very specific numbers, as there are many Swedes who, pass the expression, live a double life between Portugal and their country. And there is no record of these people. A few hundred residents are registered at the consulate, but in total there will certainly be many more», he added.

An idea reinforced by Caroline Fleetwood, who said it was not possible «say for sure how many Swedes live in the Algarve, as it is not mandatory to register.” “But I can tell you that the number is growing, as the region is very popular in my country and there are many people who choose it to reside or to visit it as a tourist,” said the Swedish diplomat.

«Whenever something happens, you can always count on excellent help from the consul here in the Algarve and the embassy in Lisbon. We have Swedes living all over the country,” he added.

Many of the Swedes who cemented a relationship with Portugal and the Algarve, by purchasing a house here, end up benefiting from the Non-Habitual Resident Status, «which is not only intended for Swedes, it is for everyone, despite these being the ones who most benefit from the status ». “But that doesn't oblige them to live here. They enjoy the tax benefit and live part of the year here and the other there, namely in the summer, when they take advantage of the improved weather to return to Sweden», explained Rui Horta.

The Swedish Consulate is located on Rua 1º de Maio, in Tavira, at Rui Horta's law firm.

From the consulate, they can count on all the help they need. “We intervene in a number of areas, we support almost everything: we certify documents, issue passports in case of loss or obsolescence, we help in cases of death. We also provide legal and administrative support», explained the Tavirense lawyer.

A help that, in the view of Caroline Fleetwood, will still continue to be given for a long time. «I think that my fellow countrymen will continue to choose the Algarve to live in after retirement, but also to study and learn about the culture. Portugal is a country that is being discovered by the Swedes and is a very popular destination”, said the Swedish ambassador.

Portuguese culture is another of the attractions of our country. «The Portuguese language is very interesting. There are 330 million people who speak it, so it is worth studying”, he said.

Caroline Fleetwood she already speaks our language relatively well, "although she doesn't speak perfectly, as it's difficult", not only because of the five years she has already spent as Sweden's ambassador in Portugal, a commission that is about to end, but also because her diplomatic career too it took her to pass "in Brazil and in Cuba".

«I am very sorry to leave. I'll miss you a lot (laughs)», he concluded.