Monday, April 29, 2024



May 13 marks another anniversary of the first of six reported apparitions of the Blessed Mary near the village of Fatima in central Portugal in 2017.

If you would like to read a fully researched and  unbiased account of one of the most extraordinary chapters in Portugal’s history, get a copy of The Fatima Phenomenon  -Devine Grace, Delusion or Pious Fraud?

It is available here:


Friday, April 26, 2024



Friday, April 19, 2024

Latest news about Portugal and the EU

Prime Minister Luis Montenegro was speaking in Brussels this week when he emphasised that Portugal has a “very strong commitment” to the European Union, both in domestic and foreign policy, especially regarding Ukraine and the Middle East.

Portugal’s minister of foreign affairs personally told the Iranian ambassador to Lisbon that his country fully condemned Iran’s 13 April drone and missile attack on Israel, which some observers think was a failure and others consider a deliberately confusing plan.

The conflict in the Middle East was high on the agenda of Prime Minister Montenegro in the Spanish capital, Madrid, during his first official visit abroad.  Good Iberian neighbourliness was, of course, paramount.

Portugal joined the European Union in 1986 and has ever since been at the centre of EU decisions with all other members while contributing to EU policies.

Despite this close cooperation, more than half of Portugal’s population is reportedly unaware of the EU parliamentary elections on 9 June. That’s more than double the average in most other EU countries, according to Eurobarometer. The latest opinion poll suggests that more than 70% of EU citizens are likely to vote on 9 June.

Studies show that more than anything, EU voters want to increase the EU fight against poverty and social exclusion, as well as supporting public health institutions , economic  advancements and the creation of new jobs.

Defence and security are also high on the minds of voters, particularly because of Russia’s war in Ukraine.  While the war is also a serious issue in Portugal, it is even more so, of course, for voters in Denmark, Finland and Lithuania.

Portugal’s new minority centre-right Democratic Alliance (AD) government expects the country’s economy to grow by 1.5% this year. While not being able to depend on support from the second strongest centre-left Socialist Party, the AD fully expects to be constantly embattled by the far-right Chega party. Portugal’s latest snap election gave the AD 80 seats in parliament, the Socialists 78 and Chega 50. Angry debate and differences are thus inevitable.

Well before the EU elections, Portugal as a democratic republic will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1974 ‘Carnation Revolution’ on 25th April, which ended a long period of dictatorship and colonial wars. The celebrations will include conferences, parades and other performance, many especially for young adults and children..


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Solving Paris Olympics visa problems


By Marla Barret

As the countdown to the 2024 Olympics in Paris begins, Portuguese are gearing up to follow the games, but many may face unexpected hurdles in the form of visa requirements.

With the Olympics fast approaching, enthusiasts and supporters are busy making preparations, from travel arrangements to ensuring they have the necessary documentation to enter France for the event.

According to the latest information from, travelers heading to Paris for the Olympics may need to check their visa requirements carefully. The website provides a helpful tool for determining whether individuals require a visa based on their nationality and the duration of their stay. For Portuguese citizens, this means being aware of any visa requirements well in advance of their departure date.

In response to the visa challenges, As reported by "Ensuring that you have comprehensive coverage can provide peace of mind in case of any unforeseen circumstances or emergencies during your time abroad.

Despite the hurdles, the Portuguese remain determined to support their athletes and enjoy the spectacle of the Olympics. With anticipation building and excitement in the air, they are ready to witness their country's representatives compete on the world stage.

As the Olympics draw nearer, all eyes will be on the athletes as they prepare to showcase their talents in Paris. And for the Portuguese contingent, overcoming visa challenges is just another obstacle to navigating on the journey to experiencing the thrill of Olympic competition.

Friday, April 5, 2024


Parliament building in Lisbon

Prime Minister Luis Montenegro of Portugal’s new centre-right government said at his swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday this week that he expects to serve for the entire four-and-a-half-year term despite his party’s very narrow election victory and the country’s instability.

With just 80 seats in the 360-seat parliament, the minority government will only be able to pass legislation with support from the 78-seat centre-left Socialist Party. The biggest obstacle will be stiff opposition from the 50-seat far-right Chega (Enough) party. 

During the election campaign, Montenegro promised to lower taxes, increase salaries and pensions, and improve public services. As admirable as all that sounded, will he be able to garner sufficient support to deliver, even from the moderates in the new National Assembly?

Things started on a happy note with messages of congratulations from the European Union, the United States, and others. Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promised a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. He said the new government required “careful dialogue” to increase its support base.  He recommended that the prime minister exercise patience rather than raising illusionary ambitions or expectations for the nation’s citizens.

The prime minister seemed to agree when he warned that Portugal had not become “rich” just because it had the budget surplus reported last year. To do so would be “dangerous, wrong and even irresponsible.”

He promised to reveal an emergency health programme by 2 June. He also announced that the government would seek dialogue with the parliamentarians of all parties to find a way to fight corruption.

The first cabinet meeting was held on Wednesday.  The following day the prime minister had a phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zekensky during which he pledged Portugal’s political, economic, humanitarian and military backing for Ukraine “for as long as it is needed.” Foreign Minister Paulo Rangel said there would be no repeat of the previous government’s “hesitation” in supporting Ukraine joining the EU.  The foreign minister also announced that the prime minister’s first foreign trip would be to Madrid.

A massive job certainly lies ahead for the prime minister who has never served in a government before. Few of his cabinet have either. Whether they will now be allowed to serve for a full term seems doubtful.