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"Dia da Liberdade" in Portugal -- Wilted Carnations in EPOnia

Guest post

Wilted carnations



Summary: "Reliable sources report that the discontent continues to simmer among the EPOnian peasantry and that the steam is slowly but inexorably building up inside the pressure cooker," tells us a guest writer

AS Portugal commemorates the 45th anniversary of the events of 25 April 1974 which initiated a transition from authoritarian rule to a pluralistic democracy, the carnations in the land of EPOnia (EPO) are looking decidedly wilted.



Experts monitoring the social climate at EPOnia following the departure of the despotic Corsican Sun-King at the end of June last year have reported that a summer of relief turned into an autumn of anticipation which eventually developed into a winter of discontent.

"Experts monitoring the social climate at EPOnia following the departure of the despotic Corsican Sun-King at the end of June last year have reported that a summer of relief turned into an autumn of anticipation which eventually developed into a winter of discontent."The New Year ushered in a spring of simmering unrest. At the moment this unrest is bubbling away under the surface. It hasn't spilled over onto the streets yet. Nor has it started to manifest itself in any kind of visible form. But insiders warn that there are signs of storm clouds gathering on the horizon. So it's anybody's guess what the summer will bring.

The current climatic instability is mainly attributed to the indecisiveness and procrastination of António the Unready, the Franco-Lusitanian Eurocrat who inherited the mantle of Benoît the Bellicose, the infamous Sun-King from Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

In some quarters the new Grand Pooh-Bah of EPOnia has been honored with the title of "O Grilo Muito Silencioso" ("the very quiet cricket").

O Grilo Muito Silencioso



That might be something of an exaggeration. After all, this little cricket hasn't remained entirely silent since taking up office. As a matter of fact he has managed to chirp quite merrily and loudly about improving social dialogue with his serfs.

But despite all of his efforts to "talk the talk", the "Social Dialogue" page on the EPO intranet seems to be rather dormant with its most recent entry dated October 2018.

Social dialogue
Click for larger/full view



So it's no wonder that there is a widespread scepticism as to whether António the Unready is really up to it when it comes to "walking the walk".

"So it's no wonder that there is a widespread scepticism as to whether António the Unready is really up to it when it comes to "walking the walk"."It has been noticed that he is very fond of portraying himself as a "Child of the Carnation Revolution" just like he did when he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Universtity of Alicante in September 2017.

On such occasions he is in his element regaling his audience with tales of his father's activities as a political exile [PDF], co-founder of the Portuguese Socialist Party and close collaborator of Mario Soares.

His repertoire typically includes tales of the turbulent times between 1974 and 1976 as Portugal made its transition from the authoritarian rule of the Salazar regime to a pluralistic democracy.

25 Abril commemoration



One of his favorite anecdotes is about how his family was forced to abandon Lisbon in the middle of the night and flee to the north of the country during the "hot summer" of 1975. This was when the Portuguese Communist Party attempted to impose a left-wing dictatorship with the support of the Soviet Union but was ultimately stopped in its tracks in November 1975 by more moderate political forces under the leadership of António Ramalho Eanes.

Portugal hot summer, 1975



Those naively optimistic souls who had been mesmerised by the carefully cultivated public image of the self-professed "Child of the Carnation Revolution" and who dreamed that he would bring something of the spirit of 25 April 1974 to the land of EPOnia have been sorely disappointed.

Child of the Carnation Revolution



The "Ditadura Militar" of the Battistelli era may have faded, but an atmosphere of stagnation and sclerosis lingers on and there is little sign of any real breath of fresh air.

"Reliable sources report that the discontent continues to simmer among the EPOnian peasantry and that the steam is slowly but inexorably building up inside the pressure cooker."The old "nomenklatura" of Battistelli's inner circle remains largely intact and it still seems to be pulling many if not most of the strings behind the scenes. António the Unready has so far shown himself unequal to the Herculean task of cleaning out that particular Augean stable and the current regime has a distinct whiff of authoritarian Salazarist "Estado Novo" managerialism about it.

Reliable sources report that the discontent continues to simmer among the EPOnian peasantry and that the steam is slowly but inexorably building up inside the pressure cooker.

If Campinos continues to sit in his hands as he has done so far, he should not be surprised if he finds himself facing his own "hot summer" in the not too distant future.

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