EJC rejects claims accusing incoming EU Council President António Costa of antisemitism

Brussels, July 9 – The European Jewish Congress strongly rejects claims accusing the incoming President of the European Council and former Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa, of antisemitism.

Incoming President Costa had an exemplary record as Mayor of Lisbon in his relations with the local Jewish community and personally promoted the public celebration of key Jewish events.

Moreover, during his time as Prime Minister, President Costa met with Jewish community leaders and addressed concerns regarding antisemitism both in Portugal and more broadly within the European Union.

The EJC and its Portuguese affiliate, the Jewish Community of Lisbon, express their absolute rejection of attempts to impute antisemitic intent to the Costa government’s actions in tightening regulations on the granting of Portuguese citizenship to descendants of Sephardic Jews. These measures were implemented in response to concerns over alleged abuses in the issuance and granting of nationality certificates.

We are appalled that unsigned media reports from a particular Jewish group in Portugal would seek to launch an unfounded and potentially libellous attack on Mr Costa in this manner.

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