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Friday Briefing: Buckle up for a short and sour election season

Good morning and welcome to PORTUGAL DECODED. We're a mere 3 days away from the Parliament's dissolution and a deep dive into the shallow waters of campaign politics.

© Nadir Afonso

POLITICS

New Socialist leader Pedro Nuno Santos made his first electoral pitch: to raise the minimum wage to €1,000/month by 2028; to prioritize sectors for public funding; to index rents to salaries; and to establish a dentistry career within the NHS (More).


Police protests over demands for an increase in risk subsidies led officers to refuse operating patrols and taking calls. Though officers say the protest is spontaneous, reports say Zero Movement, linked to far-right CHEGA, is leading it (More).


SOCIETY

Doctors urged over-45s to get the flu shot as mortality rates are still rising. While the vaccination rate is lower than in the last years, experts believe that the recent spike is also a result of low flu exposure during Covid-19 (More).


The Algarve’s water reservoirs are at 25% of capacity, their lowest level ever. The Portuguese Environment Agency is expected to announce limits to water use to 70% in the agricultural sector and 15% for urban consumers (More).


ECONOMICS

The inflation rate continues to slow down. In December it dropped to 1.4%, the lowest value in two and a half years, INE reported. Portugal’s inflation for 2023 was of 4.3%, almost half of the previous year (More).


Portuguese energy giant Galp’s stock price hit a four-year high after announcing a major oil discovery in Namibia. In just one session, Galp’s market value increased by 860 million euros for a total stock market valuation of 11.58 billion euros (More).


CULTURE

Nadir Afonso's widow plans to join a US copyright lawsuit over the misuse of her husband’s paintings by AI companies. Afonso’s geometric works draw on his architectural career alongside Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer (More).


Drone pilot João Vidinha won the Emmy for Best Cinematography for a Non-Fiction Programme with “100 Foot Wave”. The series, available on HBO, follows giant wave pioneer Garrett McNamara's attempt to surf a 30-metre wave in Nazaré (More).


IN FOCUS

WHY & WHEN WILL PORTUGAL VOTE THIS YEAR?

It’s the year of the vote. Nearly half of the world’s population lives in countries where elections will take place in 2024. In Portugal, too, 2024 will be a big election year, with 3 elections in less than 6 months. So, what will the Portuguese vote for in 2024?


Azorean Regional Elections

  • What for: to determine the composition of the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores

  • When: February 4

  • Why: In 23 November 2023, the parliament of Azores failed to approve the regional government's budget proposal for 2024. On 11 December, after meeting with the parties represented in the Azorean parliament and the Council of State, President Marcelo dissolved the regional parliament and called early elections.


National Legislative Elections

  • What for: to elect 230 members of the National Assembly of the Republic.

  • When: March 10

  • Why: On 7 November 2023, the Public Prosecutor carried out a series of searches at the Prime Minister’s official residence, arrested the Prime Minister's chief of staff and announced that the Prime Minister was under investigation (though not formally a suspect). Prime Minister António Costa resigned immediately. On November 9, after hearing all parties, and meeting with the Council of State, President Marcelo called an early election.


European Parliament Elections

  • What for: to elect 705 members of the European Parliament (21 from Portugal).

  • When: June 6-9

  • Why: Elections to the European Parliament take place every five years by universal adult suffrage; with more than 400 million people eligible to vote, they are the second largest democratic elections in the world after India's.

TIPS OF THE WEEK

In collaboration with Unique Portugal

Lisbon

Or the continuous drawing: Drawings from the Teixeira de Freitas Collection at MAC/CCB

Artwork by Abraham Cruzvillegas

The Museu de Arte Contemporânea/CCB is marking the deposit of the Teixeira de Freitas Collection with the presentation of a selection of contemporary drawings from the collection by more than 50 artists. Expresso picked it as one of the 10 best exhibitions of 2023. From Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, Free on Sunday until 2:00 pm for nationals and residents in Portugal, tickets 7€-12€.


The Animal Farm by Tónan Quito at Lu.Ca - Luís de Camões Theatre

Based on George Orwell's text, Tónan Quito's first creation for children invites young ones to reflect the way we relate to each other and and to keep a critical eye about public discourse, especially in times of uncertainty and fear. Between 4-13 February, Friday 18h30 and Saturday to Sunday 16.30, tickets 3€-7€.


Porto

À nossa at Casa da Música

The year of Portugal kicks off today at the Casa da Música in Porto. The choice aims to celebrate the 50th anniversary of April 25, but it also reflects the desire to mark other important dates, such as the 500th anniversary of the birth of Camões. Information and bookings here.


Elsewhere

Vanessa Barragão at Centro Cultural de Lagos

Nostalgia Series, 2020 © Studio Vanessa Barragão

Albufeira native Vanessa Barragão uses recycled textiles to create intricate tapestries of enchanted aquatic ecosystems. From January 20 to March 23, Tuesday to Saturday, 10h00-18h00, free entrance.


Sara Correia: Eu Sou de Chelas at RTP Play

Sara Correia was just 13 years old when she won the “Grande Noite do Fado”. Today, she is considered the “great voice of the new generation”. In October 2023, she presented her third album “Liberdade” in her old neighbourhood of Chelas, one of the poorest in Lisbon, and its recording is now available for free at RTP Play. Tickets for her upcoming concerts in Lisbon and Porto available here.

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