Invisible Portugal

I am a great admirer of James Fallows, but was dismayed to see him write this:

I am as happy as the next person to see the well-deserved end to Silvio Berlusconi’s reign in Italy. But I don’t think many people can, or should, feel too happy about this second resignation of a democratically elected government (after Papandreou in Greece) because of pressure from bankers outside the country’s borders.

Actually it’s the third resignation of a democratically elected government — Portugal’s was the first.

But I have noticed that, after serving its turn on the world stage as designated whipping post, Portugal promptly dropped from view. The moment it accepted the bailout, it ceased to exist as far as international coverage was concerned.

Mr. Fallows, you should know better. We may be small, but that doesn’t mean we’re not here. In fact, along with Ireland, we’re doing the best of all the troubled EU nations in our efforts to turn things around. As we head into deeper recession and suffer ever more with the austerity measures, a little recognition of our existence would be nice.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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5 Responses to Invisible Portugal

  1. JMG says:

    It’s true Portugal’s government resignation was the 1st in line. However, the replacement took place after elections, unlike in Greece and Italy. And that makes, I think, a difference.

    • oregon expat says:

      But the elections were called because the Prime Minister resigned. And he resigned because he couldn’t get the opposition party to agree on the austerity measures, which had suddenly become necessary due to market speculation on Portuguese government bonds. While the exact order of events may vary, the fact remains that Portugal’s government fell largely because of outside pressures.

  2. M. says:

    Portugal was/is too quiet, you know. Should you made big loud demostrations with devastation of your capital and regular war with the Police, then you would be noticed. Or should you have a Prime Minister famous because of bunga-bunga, then you would be noticed. Dealing with problems in a reasonable, professional way is boring. 😉

    This makes me wonder what to think about the downfall of the goverment in Iceland in 2009 (because of the financial crisis), resulting in Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir becoming the first openly lesbian Prime Minister in the world (that’s why I know about it at all :D). Does it count or was it too early?

    I & my people live in a constant wonder how it happend that this crisis has not get us yet and how bad it would hurt when finally it knocks at our doors.

    • oregon expat says:

      Good question about Ms. Sigurðardóttir. I’m a little fuzzy on the Icelandic politics, but my memory is that their governmental shift came about due to domestic outrage, not because of outside market pressures.

      You have a point about quiet compliance not getting any attention. But I’m having a really, really hard time imagining bunga bunga parties in our government…

  3. Fátima Santos says:

    Very interesting post. And I agree with the comments given. Not much to add, unless that I’m a bit tired to notice that Portugal keeps hidden from the rest of the light of the world…what to do so this can be changed? any ideas? tourism is rising, and yet most of them stil think we are sort of part of spain or we have spanish as oficial language too :S I know it from real source, cause I work in tourism bussiness, and it sadens me.

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