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Culture

Portugal's melancholy fado music is internationally known. One fado singer who achieved world renown was Amália Rodrigues. Among the country's most recognized authors is José Saramago, who in 1998 was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.

Portugal's heyday as a shipping nation around the turn of the century also marked a cultural highlight. "The father of the Portuguese drama" Gil Vicente wrote at this time a large number of plays, farces and comedies. A little later, Luís Vaz de Camões wrote the historical epic Lusiades.

  • Countryaah: Latest population statistics of Portugal, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.

Architecture developed the distinctive manual style (after King Manuel I, 1469-1521) where the voyages of discovery are clearly reflected in the decoration. At about the same time, the Portuguese began to decorate their houses with painted tiles, azulejos. The technology, originally introduced by Arabs who had come to Portugal via Spain, gained its breakthrough and national character in the 18th century. Around Portugal, tiles nowadays, often with historical motifs in blue and white, adorn walls and public places.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the poet Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935), one of the most internationally known Portuguese writers, appeared. In 1991, a Swedish new translation of his work Oron's book was published. Among the most prominent Portuguese writers are also José Maria Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900) and Miguel Torga (1907-1995).

  • Songaah: List and lyrics of songs related to the country name of Portugal. Artists and albums are also included.

Culture of PortugalAmong Portuguese contemporary writers is José Saramago (1922–2010) with works such as The History of Lisbon's Siege, and António Lobo Antunes (born 1942), with the novel Fado Alexandrino, among others. Both authors are translated into Swedish. Among the most prominent poets are Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Eugénio de Andrade and Herberto Hélder.

Fado is the name of a special Portuguese music genre with roots in old seamans' songs and with Brazilian, African and Arabic influences. It is characterized by melancholy (sauded) and is often performed by a black-clad person for accompaniment of guitar and a kind of lute (Portuguese guitar). In addition to singer Amália Rodrigues (1920–1999), who made fadon internationally famous, mention is made of fado stars such as Mariza and Carlos do Carmo.

The most famous Portuguese filmmaker is Manoel de Oliveira, who has made dozens of feature films but also short films and documentaries. He passed away in 2015, 106 years old. As late as 2014, his last film, "The Old Man from Belem", premiered at the Venice Film Festival. Miguel Gomes (born 1972) represents a younger generation of film directors. He received an international breakthrough in 2012 with the film "Tabu", which received a number of awards.

2018

October

The Minister of Defense will resign in connection with an investigation into theft

October 12

Defense Minister José Alberto de Azeredo Lopes resigns in connection with an investigation that the army has tried to black out a comprehensive theft of rockets, grenades and cartridges from an army depot in Tancos in June 2017. Several high-ranking military and military police have been arrested for smuggling weapons, abuse of power and falsification of documents. Lopes leaves his post, but says he has not known anything about it. In July 2017, the police managed to track down weapons in a hideout near the depot, after receiving an anonymous tip.

May

The National Assembly votes no for euthanasia

30 May

The National Assembly votes against a new law to allow euthanasia in certain aggravating cases. 115 members vote no, 110 for and four members cast their votes. The bill that has been tabled by the Socialist Party means that incurably ill people and people suffering from extreme pain should be able to get help to take their lives. Other similar proposals put forward by the Left Bloc, the Green Party and People, Animals, the Nature Party are also rejected.

The trial of Angola's former vice president is being moved to Luanda

May 10

A Portuguese court ruled that the trial of former Angolan Vice President Manuel Vicente, who was charged with attempting to bribe the Portuguese prosecutor (see January 2018), may be moved to Angola. Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa says he hopes this will lead to better relations between Portugal and Angola. The Angolan government has accused Portugal of violating Angola's sovereignty through the legal process.

April

Unemployment is falling, but many young people still lack jobs

April 30th

Unemployment has fallen to 7.4 percent, which is the lowest figure in Portugal in 14 years. Youth unemployment has also declined, but remains at a high level, 21.3 percent (compared with 22.9 percent a year earlier).

The Socialist Party settles reforms with the Social Democrats

April 18

The Socialist Party and the Social Democrats (PSD) agree on several reforms, including giving municipalities greater powers, and a strategy on how Portugal will use money from EU structural funds in the coming years. The settlement became possible after the change of party leader in the Social Democrats, where new leader Rui Rio promised to seek consensus with the Socialists. This reduces the influence of the Left Bloc and the Communist Party which supported the government after the 2015 election, which opposed the Socialist government's plans to reduce the budget deficit. Instead, they want to see investments in care and higher salaries.

New law makes it easier to change legal gender

April 13

The National Assembly approves a law that makes it easier for people to have legal sex. This means that people over the age of 16 who want to change gender affiliation in their identity documents can do so without having any medical documentation. It is also prohibited to carry out unnecessary surgical procedures on children with unclear gender identity (intersexual children). 109 of the 230 members of the National Assembly vote in favor of the amendment.

Lack of educated labor is hampering growth

April 3

The Portuguese economy is growing. Growth in 2017 was 2.7 percent, the highest figure since 2000. Unemployment has also fallen to just under 8 per cent, which is more than one-half that of 2013. At the same time, it is clear that continued growth is hampered by a shortage of skilled labor, in both the tourism and automotive and textile industries. This is partly due to the low level of education (only about a quarter of the adult population has post-secondary education) and that many well-educated Portuguese emigrated during the crisis years. Today, however, it is more common than before that young Portuguese are getting higher education.

January

Trial against Angolan politicians creates tensions between Portugal and Angola

January 23

The trial of Angola's former Vice President Manuel Vicente begins in Lisbon. The prosecution is based on suspicions that he bribed the Portuguese State Prosecutor for allegedly filing two charges against him for money laundering. Vicente is not in court. Angola presses for the case against Vicente to be transferred to his home country, but the prosecutor says no as it means that the legal process against him is closed down, as Vicente is subject to an amnesty that the former Angolan President dos Santos issued in 2017. The trial has created tensions between Portugal and Angola. The new Angolan president João Lourenço does not have the same close relationship with the former colonial power as his representative, whose family has made major investments in Portugal. Angola is also an important exporting country for Portugal.

Rui Rio becomes new leader of the Social Democrats

January 14

The Social Democrats appoint Rui Rio, an economist and former mayor of Porto, as new party leader. He wins with 54 percent of the vote. During the campaign for the party leadership election, Rio says he can support a minority government led by the Socialist Party unless the Social Democrats win the next parliamentary election. As it is now, Rio's party is far behind the socialists in opinion polls.

Migration problems in focus for EU countries in the south

January 11

Leaders of seven EU countries in southern Europe (except Portugal, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain) gather for a summit in Rome. There, they make a joint statement expressing their support for the EU's common migration policy. They have agreed that the EU needs to strengthen its external border guarding, fight human smuggling and do more to address problems in migrants' home countries. They call on all EU countries to do more to help those countries receiving the most asylum seekers / migrants.

 

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