In Portugal the political crises that has gripped the country for five weeks since the fall of Dr.
In Portugal the political crises that has gripped the country for five weeks since the fall of Dr. Mario Soares' government shows no sign of coming to an end.
SYNOPSIS: A rally called by the Portuguese Communist Party to consider the situation attracted a huge crowd. About 12,000 chanting, banner waving Communist supporters gathered at the Lisbon bullring on Saturday (14 January). In fact there were so many of them that the crowd spilled out into the street -- but remained good-humoured. On Friday (13 January) Dr. Soares -- acting as Caretaker Prime Minister during his efforts to form a new administration -- announced that he had run into difficulties with the Communists in his search for a stable majority. He described the current state of affairs as "very serious".
During the rally Portuguese Communist Party Secretary-General Alvaro Cunhal told the crowd that the country was "plunged into a crises and we don't yet know how we will get out of it." He added that Portugal has no idea what government would come next and that he didn't know if Dr. Soares' Socialist Party was considering re-opening negotiations with the Communist or not.
Also on Saturday Dr. Soares had a meeting with President Ramalho Eanes. Afterwards he told newsmen he had been given until Wednesday (18 January) to find an agreement with other parties. Dr. Soares said he was making one more try because the President and himself had agreed that an early general election would have harmful effects on the country. The Communists are reported to have bulked at an arrangement which might affect their strength in Portugal's grain growing area and with the Trade Unions.