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Friday Briefing: Lisbon's rail, road and air bonanza

Good morning and welcome to PORTUGAL DECODED. 52 years later, a decision has been taken: Lisbon will have a new airport, a new bridge, and a fast train to Madrid. Come fly with us.

A visualization of Lisbon’s third bridge | RAVE


Public workers are on strike today. Many schools, transport services, tax offices, social security services, courts, and other local and central services are expected to be shut down (More).
New migration agency AIMA drew criticism from various political corners this week and dominated the first two TV debates between the leading candidates to the EU elections (More).


The Public Prosecutor's Office confirmed the filling of a “complaint” over an alleged assault of a a 9-year-old Nepalese boy at a school in Amadora. But there are doubts over the complaint’s veracity as well as the boy’s nationality (More).
The Chief of the Navy Staff, who is seen as a potential 2026 Presidential candidate, said that the Portuguese nany is ready to “die where (it) must to defend Europe” but it needs 10.000 more recruits (More).


The European Commission predicted Portugal will grow faster in 2024 and 2025 than previously thought due to the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Program (PRR) and improved investor confidence (More).
A week after the Government presented its housing strategy, official statistics revealed that rents increased by 7.1% in April compared to 2023, but house prices fell 1.3% compared to the previous quarter (More).


For the first time in 18 years, Portugal has a movie running for the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. “Grand Tour” tells the story of a civil servant who runs away from his fiancée the day she arrives in Burma to get married (More).
Public broadcaster RTP is investigating allegations of boycott of against Portugal’s entry, Iolanda, for her use of pro-Palestinian symbols and shouting “peace will prevail” in her Grand Final performance (More).


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Lisboa Design Week

Lisbon Design Week is back for a second edition. For five days, on May 22-26, Lisbon will be buzzing with the participation of more than 75 venues, spread across various neighbourhoods of the city, which will open their doors for exhibitions, talks, launches of new pieces and products, among other events. A unique opportunity to see the talent and creativity of the local community live and in colour, in an event that will definitely put Lisbon on the international design map. More information here.

Pedro Cabrita Reis’ ATELIER

Fifty years of work represented in more than 1,500 works. From next Sunday, 19 May, Mitra in Marvila will host an unprecedented retrospective of Pedro Cabrita Reis, one of Portugal’s greatest living artists. All the works on display come from the artist’s personal collection, most of them have never been exhibited, and others will be shown for the first time in Portugal. Included are pieces of painting, drawing, engraving, sculpture and photography. The exhibition’s conception, the selection of works and the set design were developed by Pedro Cabrita Reis himself.

Indie Lisboa 2024

IndieLisboa, taking place from May 23 to June 2, 2024, focuses on bringing independent cinema closer to the audiences, showing films that do not reach the regular distribution circuit. The festival screens mostly films (features and shorts) in competitions of both young and renowned directors. The activities go beyond regular screenings - there are parties, concerts, workshops, masterclasses, debates, a scriptwriting lab, a film fund, a pitching forum, screenings of works in progress for industry guests, networking events, etc. More information here.


Jane Campion, Uncompromising

Until June 15, Batalha Cinema Centre presents a complete retrospective of New Zealander Jane Campion’s eight feature films, almost all of her short films and the first season of the series Top of the Lake — a body of work that illustrates the filmmaker’s pioneering path and her ceaseless exploration of the human psyche; a remarkable, long-lasting and uncompromising journey. Full program and tickets here.

Visit to Casas Dona Leonor

Completed in 2019, the Casas Leonor project is a high-quality social housing that replaced dilapidated buildings. The two new buildings, located parallel to each other, are made up of 70 houses, one to four bedrooms (including duplexes), home to around 148 inhabitants. It is considered the “best municipal neighbourhood in the country” and is the first to obtain the A+ energy rating. More information here.


International Museum Day + European Night of Museums

On May 18, the International Museum Day and the European Night of Museums will be celebrated with free entrance to all the 38 museums and monuments in more than 21 cities and towns managed by Museums and Monuments of Portugal. Entry to the This year’s theme, “Museums for Education and Research,” underscores the pivotal role of cultural institutions in providing a holistic educational experience. Other museums and institutions throughout the country will also hold initiatives on this day.

Aldeias do Xisto Hike

This hike by Green Trekker is scheduled to start tomorrow, May 18, at 10am. The route begins in the schist village of Benfeita and continues along some streams and valleys that are difficult to access in the Serra do Açor. The activity is classified as demanding, as it takes more than five hours (it finishes at 16.30) and covers 17 kilometres. Don't forget to take a 1.5 litre bottle of water, clothing and footwear suitable for the weather and snacks to keep your energy up for the whole route. Tickets cost €15 per person.

One more thing…

On June 10, Portugal celebrates its National Day. To celebrate the occasion, PORTUGAL DECODED invites young writers, aged 12 to 18 years old, to tells us what they think makes Portugal special? The winning essay will be featured on this newsletter and our website, and its author will receive a fantastic, handcrafted wood balance board by designers Abaeté. Follow this link for full guidelines and rules.

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