Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Portugal: Crise Política

Last Wedenesday, 23 March, after Parliament refused to pass his austerity budget, the Prime Minister of Portugal, José Sócrates (pron. SOCKRA-tish), pictured above, offered his resignation to the President of Portugal, Aníbal Cavaco Silva (pron. Ah-NEEBLE Cuh-VACK SEAL-vuh), pictured below:-

The president has retained the services of Sócrates as caretaker prime minister pending deciding whether to dissolve parliament and call a general election. That decision will be taken after the president has consulted the Council of State tomorrow, Thursday 31 May, and the strong likelihood is that a general election will be announced for the last week of May or first week of June.

Sócrates is the leader of the centre left Partido Socialista (PS), the Portuguese equivalent of Britain's Labour Party. Since the last general election in 2009, he has led a minority government (97 seats out of 230 in Portugal's unicameral legislature); prior to 2009, he led a majority government (121 seats).

Whether the austerity budget didn't pass because it was ill-thought out as the opposition claim, or whether the opposition was just acting out of political opportunism, I just don't know. Socrates will be fighting the forthcoming election again as leader of the PS but the first opinion polls are already suggesting it will be won by the opposition Partido Social Democratica (PSD - centre right - equivalent of British Conservative Party) and its leader Pedro Passos Coelho (pron. PASS-ish KWELL-yoo) albeit not with an absolute majority.

So who will you be voting for - the man with the fake tan or the man with the dodgy barnet (almost certainly dyed)? 

Incidentally, the fact that I'm wearing a PSD t-shirt as I type this is no guide to my voting intentions. It's just that the PSD are the orange t-shirt lot from the municipal elections in 2009. And their t-shirt has just proved jolly helpful in a practical sense for typing this blog entry because I was able to unbutton my shirt and look at it to remind myself how you spell Democratica in the context of Partido Social. I've just done it again, in fact, and discovered that it's actually Democrata. And there was me agonising about whether it had an "o" on the end, as you'd expect for an adjective agreeing with a noun ending in an "o" (partido), or an "a"... 

So why the hell does it end with an "a", as a matter of interest? But I digress. If the PS (fake tan lot but there it is again, look - Partido Socialista - we seem to have been spirited off into a parallel universe of adjectival disagreement) could see their way to handing out a nice red fleece, say, with a handy pull out list of prepositions buttoned into the pocket, then my vote would be secured. And to hell with the government bond yield.


Marisa Pereira said...

ehehheheh, I just love the way you spell the names of our politians.

Kathie said...

The US's new Speaker (leader) of the House of Representatives is one John Boehner -- pronounced BAY-ner, except by his enemies (LOL!) -- has the fakest of suntans. He also has a habit of choking up and weeping publicly at the drop of a hat.