Western European Socialist leaders on Friday (5 September) mapped out a five-point programme of political and moral support for the Portuguese Socialist Party, terming developments there decisive for the future of democracy in Europe.
Western European Socialist leaders on Friday (5 September) mapped out a five-point programme of political and moral support for the Portuguese Socialist Party, terming developments there decisive for the future of democracy in Europe. While the meeting went on, a small group of demonstrators stood outside with banners saying "hands off Portugal".
Portuguese Socialist Party leader, Mario Soares, joined Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme, Dutch Prime Minister, Joop Den Uyl, former West German Chancellor Willy Brandt and the French Socialist leader Francois Mitterrand for talks and lunch with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson at his official London residence, Number Ten, Downing Street.
In a joint statement, they said they wanted to avoid interference in Portuguese internal affairs. But added "The great amount of good-will which the rapid de-colonisation and the elimination of the Fascist regime have created, must not be erased by indifference for the wishes of the majority".
Dr. Soares has made it clear that his Socialist Party would only participate with the Communities in Government if the Communists' representation was cut down to match the support they won at the last election, which was just over twelve per cent.
The meeting was also understood to have discussed the future work of a Committee of Friendship with Portugal, created by a conference of western European Socialist leaders in Stockholm last month.
Meanwhile, a crucial policy-forming Portuguese Armed forces Assembly hit trouble on Friday when most of the Army and Air Force delegates ??? on a boycott.
When the meeting began in the presence of President Francisco Costa Gomes, only a handful of Army and Air Force men attended along with the Navy delegates. Also present was former Prime Minister General Vasco Goncalves, the pro-Communist whose appointment as Armed Forces Chief of Staff led to the present crisis, and Prime Minister-designate Admiral Jose Pinheiro de Azevedo.
Reports from Lisbon said that the meeting could not be regarded as a full meeting of the Armed Forces Assembly whose domination by pro-Communists fired a revolt of moderate officers.