Sunday, July 16, 2023



Weekend headline news


Maybe the hottest heatwave ever!

Southern Europe is bracing itself for the hottest heatwave ever recorded. Temperatures in Portugal in the next few days are expected to again reach 40C (104F) or more, but not as much as in parts of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain where 48C (118.4F) is being predicted by the European Space Agency. A red alert has been issued for 10 cities, including Florence and Rome. Such heatwaves are due mainly to the burning of fossil fuels that are still not being politically banished by the major users outside of Europe.

Drug decriminalisation: two views

Regina LaBelle, who held a top position in the US Office of Drug Control under both the President Obama and Biden administrations, wrote an article published this week in The Hill , a Washington political newspaper, strongly advising Americans to take a lesson from Portugal’s success in decriminalising all forms of drug use.  This was in contrast to an article published a few days earlier in the Washington Post under the headline,  Once hailed for decriminalizing drugs, Portugal is now having doubts”. 

Two new national monuments

A government decree has declared the Islamic baths in Loule and the Alfandega Nova building in Porto as national monuments. The baths date back to the 12th century when Loule was a medieval Islamic settlement. The Alfandega building was designed by a French architect in the 19th century and is now a congress centre and museum.  

 Judicial opinion: government is “criminal”

Portugal’s Judicial Employees Union is anticipating the complete closure of the courts and public prosecutors’ offices due to strike action that started on Friday. The union has denounced what it calls the “criminal silence” of the government in responding to its members’ wage and conditions demands.

Doubts about digital currency

Portugal’s finance minister is among those in the eurozone with “significant doubts” about the creation of digital money. A virtual version of the euro currency is being studied by the European Central Bank. What is being most seriously questioned is its “usefulness” - or otherwise.

Regional English newspapers

Prices are going to rise for the second consecutive week, is among the reports the Portugal News. The increase in the week ahead will be the same for both: 1.5 cents per litre. The Portugal Resident headlines include: “Police detain 16 suspected of €5.6 million tax scam on imported cars.”

Portuguese-language papers

One of the top stories in the Portuguese press in recent days has been the controversial findings of the final report of a parliamentary committee inquiry into the management of TAP, Portugal’s international airline.

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