Mário Soares, "father of Portuguese democracy", has died

Drogheda445

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Mário Soares, Portuguese prime minister, often described as the "architect of Portuguese democracy", has died aged 92.

Portugal father of democracy Mario Soares dies aged 92 - BBC News

A socialist, he spent much of his political life in exile speaking out against the Salazarist regime, Europe's longest lived right-wing dictatorship (ruling the country since the 1920s).

The regime was brought down in April 1974 by the army after years of economic stagnation, emigration, and military conflict in Portuguese colonies. Soares, along with many on the left, were finally able to return to Portugal after half a century of repression.

At various points during the transition to democracy, attempts were made by radicals to seize power. Fears of a communist takeover were widespread, with Henry Kissinger famously remarking that Soares would end up being a Portuguese "Kerensky", undermined by extremists and ultimately overthrown. It never came to pass, and Soares' brand of social democracy prevailed in the volatile political climate. As regime changes go it was one of the most bloodless and successful in modern European history.

In recent years, he was critical of the IMF and austerity measures imposed in Portugal in the wake of the European economic crisis. Indeed the legacy of the revolution has often been questioned, with the chief architect of the coup Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho notably stating that he would never have carried out the coup if he know what would become of the country. Unlike most of Europe, the Portuguese left was nearly always more eurosceptic than the right, and opposition to the European Union remains a strong element among leftists in Portugal to this day.
 


O

Oscurito

It seems incredible that as recently as the mid-1970s, southern Europe (with the exception of Italy) was a bastion of dictatorship.

What did Saraiva de Carvalho mean? Did Portugal turn out to be too right-wing for him?
 

Lumpy Talbot

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No
Must be unusual as well in that a military coup paved the way for a socialist to feel secure in returning to the state.

Can't think of too many incidents of that happening.
 

GDPR

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Mário Soares, Portuguese prime minister, often described as the "architect of Portuguese democracy", has died aged 92.

Portugal father of democracy Mario Soares dies aged 92 - BBC News

A socialist, he spent much of his political life in exile speaking out against the Salazarist regime, Europe's longest lived right-wing dictatorship (ruling the country since the 1920s).

The regime was brought down in April 1974 by the army after years of economic stagnation, emigration, and military conflict in Portuguese colonies. Soares, along with many on the left, were finally able to return to Portugal after half a century of repression.

At various points during the transition to democracy, attempts were made by radicals to seize power. Fears of a communist takeover were widespread, with Henry Kissinger famously remarking that Soares would end up being a Portuguese "Kerensky", undermined by extremists and ultimately overthrown. It never came to pass, and Soares' brand of social democracy prevailed in the volatile political climate. As regime changes go it was one of the most bloodless and successful in modern European history.

In recent years, he was critical of the IMF and austerity measures imposed in Portugal in the wake of the European economic crisis. Indeed the legacy of the revolution has often been questioned, with the chief architect of the coup Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho notably stating that he would never have carried out the coup if he know what would become of the country. Unlike most of Europe, the Portuguese left was nearly always more eurosceptic than the right, and opposition to the European Union remains a strong element among leftists in Portugal to this day.
The Portuguese TV is playing Grandola, Vila Morena and people are in tears.

That was the folk song used to signal the Rising on Portuguese State radio, when the Captains of April came out, to secure just 8 key installations in Lisbon and announce the tyranny was over.

Soares returned from Paris, where he had been in exile. He kissed the ground.

They are showing film of children garlanding him with red carnations.

Viva O MFA!
 
O

Oscurito

Soares stuck with the leftist creed of his youth. This creature, formerly a Maoist, followed the power and the money.

[video=youtube;wAHv3UnXvmM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAHv3UnXvmM[/video]

Yes, folks, That is none other than José Manuel Durão Barroso,

 

Drogheda445

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It seems incredible that as recently as the mid-1970s, southern Europe (with the exception of Italy) was a bastion of dictatorship.

What did Saraiva de Carvalho mean? Did Portugal turn out to be too right-wing for him?
Probably, especially in recent years. You have to remember most of those who carried out the coup were leftists so in political terms the eventual outcome was quite surprising when compared with countries with similar experiences (such as Cuba).
 

olli rehn

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Soares stuck with the leftist creed of his youth. This creature, formerly a Maoist, followed the power and the money.

[video=youtube;wAHv3UnXvmM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAHv3UnXvmM[/video]

Yes, folks, That is none other than José Manuel Durão Barroso,


Same shyster as this one:

 

GDPR

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Probably, especially in recent years. You have to remember most of those who carried out the coup were leftists so in political terms the eventual outcome was quite surprising when compared with countries with similar experiences (such as Cuba).
The people who carried out the coup were the junior members of the Portuguese Army, who had decided their loyalty was to country not regime.

"I am doing this for my mother" one very young soldier said when he arrested Caetano, Arrested, note. There was no brutality.

They handed over the reins to Cunhal the Communist and Soares the Socialist, based on their representation in the trades union movements, which were the only source of organised opposition to the regime. I can assure you most of these soldiers would have come from very conservative backgrounds.

Its called being a patriot.
 

GDPR

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Woah, they just quoted Soares on Portuguese telly: Dont let speculative markets and credit criminals destroy nations with nine hundred years' independent history...

There are car horns blasting. :)
 
O

Oscurito

This map - showing Portuguese colonies superimposed on the map of Europe - used to hang in schoolrooms during the regime of Salazar. The heading reads, "Portugal is not a small country."

 
O

Oscurito

Looking more closely at that map, it's clearly pre-WW2.

And Salazar didn't recognize the partition of Ireland.
 

GDPR

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Telly quoting Soares on social solidarity now.

"Who are these dwarfs who want to want to rule us? States are not built on money but on their people, the strength of the bonds between them and their shared history. Portugal is not a poor country - it is a rich one."
 
O

Oscurito

Far be it from me to cast even the mildest aspersions on the reputation of a recently deceased person but - on the general point of the performance of the economy in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution - the writer of this Wikipedia article has harsh things to say,

The post Carnation Revolution period was characterized by chaos and negative economic growth as industries were nationalised and the negative effects of the decoupling of Portugal from its former territories were felt. Heavy industry came to an abrupt halt. All sectors of the economy from manufacturing, mining, chemical, defence, finance, agriculture and fishing went into free fall.

Portugal found itself overnight going from the country in Western Europe with the highest growth rate to the lowest – in fact it experienced several years of negative growth. This was amplified by the mass emigration of skilled workers and entrepreneurs due to political intimidation, and the costs of accommodating in Portugal thousands of refugees from the former overseas provinces in Africa – the retornados.
Portugal's per capita GDP was only 38 percent of the EC-12 average; by the end of the Salazar period, in 1968, it had risen to 48 percent; and in 1973, on the eve of the revolution, Portugal's per capita GDP had reached 56.4 percent of the EC-12 average. In 1975, the year of maximum revolutionary turmoil, Portugal's per capita GDP declined to 52.3 percent of the EC-12 average. Convergence of real GDP growth toward the EC average occurred as a result of Portugal's economic resurgence since 1985. In 1991 Portugal's GDP per capita climbed to 54.9 percent of the EC average, exceeding by a fraction the level attained just during the worst revolutionary period.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Portugal#The_military_coup_of_1974
 

NYCKY

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I think it was to Portugal and then President Soares that Mary Robinson made her first state visit.
 

GDPR

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Far be it from me to cast even the mildest aspersions on the reputation of a recently deceased person but - on the general point of the performance of the economy in the aftermath of the Carnation Revolution - the writer of this Wikipedia article has harsh things to say,




https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Portugal#The_military_coup_of_1974
Quoting wiki now> :)

Portugal was more or less bankrupt through the economic policies of Salazar and of course his African adventuring, which bled Portugal dry.

If your one comment on Soares and the Revolucao de Veinte-Cinco is to copy paste wiki, then I suggest you may be about to become another Irish Expert on Something You Only Heard Of, Two Minutes Ago.
 

GDPR

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After the carnation revolution the CIA flooded the country with drugs, pornography and all sorts of degeneracy in order to prevent any serious moves to bring the country into the Warsaw Pact family of nations. Mario Soares over saw this. Now even homosexuals are allowed to adopt kids there. Of all the "Authoritarian Conservative" regimes the one of Professor Salazar was the most just and healthy. Portugal was all around better off under him. Oh, how did the abandoning of East Timor work out for the people there?
 

GDPR

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Oh this is interesting - they cant get hold of Jose Socrates to deliver a eulogy to camera.

Nuno Carvalho has done his bit - and he had it in for Soares big time. "Adeus a um portugues maior. O pa!" Cheeky.

That takes a bit of translating - O pa is short for O compai or Comrade.

Soares always preferred "Citizen".... :)
 
O

Oscurito

Quoting wiki now> :)

Portugal was more or less bankrupt through the economic policies of Salazar and of course his African adventuring, which bled Portugal dry.

If your one comment on Soares and the Revolucao de Veinte-Cinco is to copy paste wiki, then I suggest you may be about to become another Irish Expert on Something You Only Heard Of, Two Minutes Ago.
You could have done some research to challenge the points being made but no; you resorted to a sneer.

There's a quite astonishing tendency for people here to do that when presented opinions they disagree with.

This US Library of Congress article makes similar points.
Portugal - Economic Growth and Change

For the record, I've been reading books about Portugal for years - both from a right and left perspective. The first one I read was 3 decades ago. It was called "Portugal:50 Years of Dictatorship" by Antonio de Figueiredo. The map I posted earlier was the design on the front cover.
 

Drogheda445

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This map - showing Portuguese colonies superimposed on the map of Europe - used to hang in schoolrooms during the regime of Salazar. The heading reads, "Portugal is not a small country."

There's still a bit of nostalgia (or more specifically "saudade") in Portugal for their days of Empire, I suppose mainly because of the importance it gave to the country. Portuguese people tend to be very proud of their history as a global power whereas other former colonial powers tend to shy away from it (although admittedly Portugal's colonial reputation was hardly rosy). I remember one particular claim they liked to make is that they gave the Japanese their word for thank-you ("arigato", from "obrigado")!

Interestingly for Irish people, the fast food chain Nando's was founded by Portuguese settlers who left Mozambique after independence and settled in South Africa. Hence their rooster symbol, the "Galo de Barcelos" is a very well known symbol of Portugal. :)
 


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