Portuguese Socialists pursuing minority government

Portuguese Socialists pursuing minority governmentLisbon  - Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates will attempt to rule through a minority government, he announced late Thursday after coalition talks collapsed.

He accused the entire opposition of refusing to engage in "dialogue" without preconditions.

Socrates heads the social-democratic Socialist Party (PS), which won a plurality of 36.5 per cent in September 27 parliamentary elections but lost its 2005 absolute majority.

Socrates appointed premier, strengthens position in local poll

Socrates appointed premier, strengthens position in local poll Lisbon - Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva Monday designated Socialist leader Jose Socrates as prime minister following his victory in the September 27 parliamentary elections, while Socrates' party reinforced its position in Sunday's local elections.

Cavaco Silva appointed Socrates prime minister and tasked him with submitting his second government programme to parliament.

Portugal votes in local elections

Portugal votes in local electionsLisbon - Portuguese voters were going to polls Sunday in local elections expected to produce few changes in the country's political landscape.

About 9.5 million people were eligible to elect the members of more than 4,200 municipal councils.

The overwhelming majority of the councils were expected to retain approximatively their current composition.

Prime Minister Jose Socrates' Socialist Party was expected to continue governing Lisbon, and the opposition conservative Social Democratic Party (PSD), the second-largest city Porto.

Controversy over spying scandal in Portugal

Controversy over spying scandal in Portugal Lisbon - Controversy was raging in Portugal on Wednesday over a spying scandal after President Anibal Cavaco Silva broke his silence about it.

Jose Socrates, who is expected to get a second term as prime minister after winning Sunday's elections, said he refused to "contribute to a controversy which weakens and discredits the institutions."

Portugal deemed likely to get minority government

Portugal deemed likely to get minority government Lisbon - Portugal on Tuesday looked increasingly likely to get a minority government after Socialist Prime Minister-elect Jose Socrates lost his absolute majority in Sunday's elections.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva was expected to task Socrates with forming a government.

The 52-year-old Socialist leader was expected to find it difficult to find coalition partners after both the far left and the main conservative opposition Social Democratic Party
(PSD) rejected such a possibility during the electoral campaign.

Portugal fears instability as Socrates prepares to form government

jose-socratesLisbon - Portuguese analysts on Monday warned about political instability as Prime Minister-elect Jose Socrates was preparing to form his second government after winning Sunday's parliamentary elections.

Socrates' Socialists took a clear victory, but lost their absolute majority in parliament.

President Anibal Cavaco Silva was expected to ask Socrates to form a new government.

Socrates said overnight he would start talks with the other parties and that it was too early to say whether he would govern alone or with others.

Portuguese vote in elections focused on economy

Portuguese vote in elections focused on economy Lisbon  - Portuguese voters began going to polls Sunday in general elections focused on the economy, as one of Western Europe's poorest countries struggles to recover from its economic crisis.

Polls gave a lead to Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates, 52, whose conservative challenger Manuela Ferreira Leite, 68, aspires to become Portugal's first elected female premier.

Ferreira Leite heads the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Socrates was not, however, expected to renew the absolute majority he won in 2005.

Manuela Ferreira Leite, Portugal's "Iron Lady"

Manuela Ferreira Leite, Portugal's "Iron Lady" Lisbon  - Portugal's opposition leader Manuela Ferreira Leite is known as an Iron Lady - although some say she also has a maternal touch.

The 68-year-old leader of the Social Democratic Party - conservative, despite its name - could become the country's next prime minister if she beats Socialist outgoing premier Jose Socrates in Sunday's elections.

Coming from a prominent Lisbon family of lawyers, academically brilliant Ferreira Leite studied economics and finance, initially embarking on an academic career.

Jose Socrates, the charming reformer

Jose Socrates, the charming reformerLisbon  - Portugal's outgoing Socialist Prime Minister Jose Socrates seemed to have been born to win, but he now faces a strong challenge from the conservative opposition in Sunday's elections.

Portugal's economic crisis and corruption allegations have weakened the position of the 52-year-old premier, whose self-confidence sometimes appears to border on arrogance.

Known for his designer suits and smooth manner, Socrates has been dubbed "Sunny Boy" and "Portugal's George Clooney."

Portugal Tour winner, two others suspended after doping tests

Portugal Tour winner, two others suspended after doping tests Lisbon - Nuno Ribeiro, the winner of this year's Tour of Portugal race, and two team-mates have failed a doping test and been provisionally suspended, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Friday.

The Portuguese cyclist of the Spanish outfit Continental Team Liberty Seguros has tested positive for CERA, the latest version of the endurance-boosting hormone EPO.

Two Spanish team-mates, Hector Guerra Garcia and Isidro Nozal Vega, have also tested positive for CERA.

Four killed in train accident in northern Portugal

Lisbon  - Four people were killed Tuesday when a train collided with a private car at an unguarded rail crossing in northern Portugal, rescue services said.

Three other people were injured. All the victims were occupants of the car, the sources said.

The accident occurred near Santa Leocadia while the train was travelling from Regua to Porto. (dpa)

Firefighters battle 13 blazes in northern Portugal

PortugalLisbon  - Over 500 firefighters were on duty Sunday battling a wave of forest fires in northern Portugal, with the region around the port city of Porto the hardest-hit, officials said.

A total of 13 different fires were reported, including five threatening Porto.

At the same time, fire departments around the rest of Portugal were being kept on a heightened state of readiness due to the ongoing heat and dry weather conditions.  dpa

Portugal to accept two former Guantanamo inmates

Portugal to accept two former Guantanamo inmatesLisbon  - Portugal has accepted two former inmates of the United States' Guantanamo Bay detention centre, media reports said Saturday.

The two Syrian men were housed in apartments provided by the Portuguese government, and are considered innocent of any terrorism charges, the Portuguese Interior Ministry said.

The two men have freedom of movement within the country, but will require a visa to travel to other countries within the European Union, the Ministry reported, adding that the two came to Portugal of their own free will.

Archaeologists unearth British General’s 19th century command post in Portugal

Lisbon, August 24 : A team of archeologists has unearthed what is believed to have been the headquarters of Luso-British troop commander General Wellington in the early 19th century, in a dig inside the Alqueidao Forte in Portugal.

Located between Mafra and Torres Vedras, the fort is thought to have sheltered General Wellington’s troops serving the Torres Vedras line during the French invasions, between 1807 and 1814.

According to a report in The Portugal News Online, the General’s private quarters, a store room, a warehouse and a weapons locker were defined during the excavation.

The division had been previously outlined in maps, but this is the first time excavations were attempted to unearth them.

Collapsed cliff kills at least five on Portugal beach

Collapsed cliff kills at least five on Portugal beachLisbon  - Rocks and earth from a collapsing cliff killed at least five sunbathers Friday in Albufeira on the Algarve coast in southern Portugal, officials said.

Civil rescue officials said that the dead included three women who were killed instantly by the collapse; a 60-year-old man who died of cardiac arrest in the ambulance on the way to hospital; and a 38- year-old woman who died of severe injuries in hospital.

Two killed in light plane crash in Portugal

Two killed in light plane crash in Portugal Lisbon  - The two passengers of a light aircraft died when they crashed near a village on the outskirts of the Portuguese city of Evora, according to local reports Saturday.

An unoccupied private home in the central Portuguese village was set ablaze and another building damaged in Friday's crash.

The accident occurred after the pilot aborted a landing at a nearby airstrip in Evora. The twin-engine propeller-driven plane swung around to attempt a second run at the strip from the opposite direction but struck a building. (dpa)

Portuguese "Cro-Magnon" escapee lives in caves for 16 years

Lisbon  - A Portuguese fugitive lived in caves for 16 years, the daily Publico reported Thursday.

The man escaped from prison after serving two years of a 10-year sentence for homicide.

He then lived in mountain caves in the Braga area in the north, surviving on food that relatives brought to him.

When police finally located the 54-year-old "Cro-Magnon" with a long beard, he was armed and resisted arrest.

But he then turned out to be so lonely that he just could not stop chatting, a police source was quoted as saying.

The man's only entertainment in his cave was a radio which he listened to for football news. (dpa)

Goa Knocks Out Of Medal Hunt

Goa Knocks Out Of Medal HuntGoa has been knocked out of the medal hunt after losing their match against Angola by 2-0 at Estadio Jose Gomes in Lisbon on Wednesday.

Angola wanted to win the match by big margin to increase their goal average, but Goa played well to restrict them throughout the match.

The World Cuppers were able to score only two goals against Goa with second goal in the last minutes of the match, which suggested the scenario of the whole match.

Colombia's Falcao signs for Porto

Falcao GarciaLisbon  - Radamel Falcao Garcia has completed his move from Argentine side River Plate to FC Porto on a four-year deal, the Portuguese champions confirmed Wednesday.

Under the agreement, Porto have paid 3.9 million euros (5.5 million dollars) for 60 per cent of the Colombian international's economic rights.

The 23-year-old striker, who is also believed to have been a target of English Premier League sides Aston Villa and Liverpool, scored 34 goals in 90 league appearances for River Plate.

He has won 14 caps for Colombia. (dpa)

Portugal gets new economy minister after insult in parliament

Portugal gets new economy minister after insult in parliamentLisbon  - Portuguese Finance Minister Fernando Teixeira dos Santos will on Monday be sworn in as economy minister after Manuel Pinho resigned from the post over making an offensive gesture to a political opponent, government sources said Friday.

Teixeira will hold both the finance and economy portfolios until the general elections in September.

Pinho was forced to step down suddenly on Thursday after making a horns gesture to a member of the opposition during a parliamentary debate on the state of the nation.

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