Portugal News

portuguese press review plus the odd insight

Archive for June 2011

‘Sluts’ take to streets of Lisbon

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Portugal had its first slut walk last weekend. The phenomenon seems to have gone global after the first in Canada in response to a cop’s advice to female law students to stop dressing like sluts  if they didn’t want to be raped. Portuguese sluts, or Galderias, walked down Lisbon’s Avenida da Liberdade to protest at arbitrary moral distinctions between innocent women and sluts in rape cases.

Portuguese women also wanted to express their understandable alarm at the recent decision by a Porto court to acquit a male psychiatrist charged with raping a pregnant patient during a consultation.  The placard in the pic says: “Don’t tell us how to dress. Tell them not to rape!”

Written by porkncheezer

June 28, 2011 at 9:16 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Saramago at rest in the Onion Field

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Portugal’s Nobel-garlanded author Jose Saramago, who died a year ago, had his ashes scattered under an olive tree in Lisbon at the weekend. The 100-year-old tree was brought from the Alentejo village where he grew up, Azinhaga. Saramago as a boy would have most likely watched lizards frolic in the shade of that very tree, located behind his grandparents’ house.

Some locals in Campo das Cebolas, or the Onion Field, the square in Lisbon’s Baixa district where the Alentejo olive tree was replanted, weren’t too happy about the their new connection with a writer who often had a difficult relationship with mainstream public opinion in Portugal. Saramago liked to descibe himself as a libertarian communist. “God wants that olive tree to die! Why? Because Saramago didn’t want to be Portuguese, he wanted be Spanish,” one moustachioed OAP told Publico.

Saramago experts believe the olive tree from the author’s birthplace could be the one where he recounts in “Pequenas Memorias”, or Small Memories, seeing a lizard predict an adulterous affair between an Azinhaga woman and a man from elsewhere – a liaison consummated under the very same tree.  In the top right of the picture you can see the Casa dos Bicos, one of the capital’s oldest buildings that gets visited by most big wigs coming to Lisbon. The building will house the Jose Saramago Foundation before the end of this year.

Written by porkncheezer

June 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

Posted in lisbon

Benfica’s eagle shenanigans

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Benfica have fired their eagle mascot Vitoria, pictured here giving coach Jorge Jesus the bird, and replaced her with another of the same species with the same name. Vitoria II will be accompanied at pre and post-match displays by another eagle called Gloriosa. We’ll have more on Benfica’s pre-season transfer dealings soon.

Written by porkncheezer

June 20, 2011 at 6:43 am

New and old PMs; blast them ATMs!

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Portugal’s prime minister elect, Pedro Passos Coelho, tells the FT he won’t leave his humble suburban pad for the official PM residence behind Lisbon’s Sao Bento parliament. Instead, he’ll  continue to live in his own flat in a humdrum Lisbon suburb. Not much of a big deal here because Jose Socrates, our previous government chief ousted in early polls, spent most of his time in a pretty modest, by local standards, pad opposite a pizza takeaway restaurant on Rua Braacamp between Marques de Pombal and Largo do Rato.  The latter a mere 10” pizza throw from his house and also the HQ of his own Socialist Party.

Passos Coelho, despite his noble claims, will likely still spend most of his time in the rather low key official residence because that’s where people will expect to find him. The building in question, with no apparent security, is difficult to find unless you know Lisbon. Many happy tourists whiz up and down the Calcada da Estrela on the No 28 tram without spotting it or the National Assembly immediately behind.

Jose Socrates, a divorcee which sometimes doesn’t play too well in Portuguese politics, often sent his bodyguards down to collect pizzas when it was his sons’ weekend to visit pa. Getting back on track, incoming PM Passos Coelho also tells the FT his new administration will unleash extra belt-tightening to the already agreed package with the IMF and EU to qualify for a €78bn sub.

Elsewhere, thieves have been blagging ATMs by filling them with gas then blowing them up, with a crude car battery-powered sparking device, to release the supposedly secure note dispensers. Publico reports on three attempted heists on ATMs, or multibancos as we call them, in the early hours of Wednesday at Coruche, north of Lisbon, Setubal, south of the capital and at Santo Ovidio near Porto.

None of the above multibanco blast attacks resulted in the loss of any cash or injuries but a town hall at Santana do Mato, in Coruche, where the ATM was sited, showed some signs of damage and a powerful blast. Publico says these attempted robberies have begun in the last two months in Portugal after becoming common in some other parts of Europe. The article gives no hints on which gas is best to use to blow up an ATM. I know propane gas rises and butane goes down. Or is that the other way round?

Written by porkncheezer

June 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Pull your fingers out, lazy northern Europeans

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PN has been shirking its mission of perusing Portuguese newspapers on your behalf for interesting tit-bits. This is mainly due to a protracted house move and difficulties in renewing his online Publico subscription by paypal. But fear not, loyal reader, we’re back with a timely demolition job on the myth of the Protestant work ethic.

British historian Felipe Fernanez-Armesto, of Spanish extraction, dismisses – with his habitual panache, the new fashion for blaming the financial woes of southern Europe on its workshy Catholic citizens. Max Weber, the sociologist, is largely to blame, our Anglo-Spanish professor tells a BBC Radio 4 audience and his adopted nation. PWE dubunked

Written by porkncheezer

June 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Uncategorized