Portuguese president closes airspace over his vacation site

Lisbon  - Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva has ordered the closure of the airspace over the southern Albufeira district where he is holidaying, the daily Diario de Noticias reported Thursday.

The measure, which is unprecedented in Portugal's recent history, affected especially the beach of the village of Sao Rafael, where Cavaco Silva has a summer residence. The airspace will remain closed until August 31, when the president returns to work.

National security coordinator Leonel de Carvalho justified the measure by saying that being a president represented a permanent security risk.

Portugal is not, however, seen as a terrorist target. The real reason for the measure may have been the president's desire to avoid paparazzi, Diario de Noticias said.

Tourism and advertising professionals and aerial photographers criticized the measure, saying it affected their business. (dpa)