Portugal’s free spirit lives on after 34 years

Sunday, April 27, 2008
Issue 326, Page 2
Word count: 274
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The conclusion of the Jazzafari Concert last night marked the end of this year’s commemorations in Macau for the 1974 revolution in Portugal.

The Portuguese ambassador of the SAR said the strong spirit for the victory had been maintained after more than three decades.

April 25 was the day when the Carnation Revolution was started that eventually overthrew the dictatorship regime.

Also called “Freedom Day”, April 25 is a national holiday in Portugal when official commemorations are held.

The revolution was a leftist military-led coup d’état that successfully shifted the Portuguese ruling system from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy.

It also put an end to Western Europe’s longest authoritarian regime, Estado Novo (New State), which was installed in 1933 by the former Portuguese ruler, António de Oliveira Salazar.

The Portuguese Consul to Macau, Pedro Moltinho de Almeida, told the Macau Daily Times the Revolution was not only important to Portugal and its community, but also to Macau as “it was what set the stage for the signing of the Joint Declaration and eventually the handover until 1999”.

Although some right-wing and apolitical sectors of the population regard the uprising as being negative for the country, Mr Moltinho de Almeida said “the spirit is still very strong and positive”.

“Everybody agrees it was a turning point in the Portuguese history as well as Portugal in the 20th century,” the ambassador said.

“Most people will take advantage of the beautiful weather here [in Portugal] and some will go celebrate the event. But 34 years on, I would say most of the people will just go out, have a rest and a good time,” he added.


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