Carnation Revolution is 40 years old

There's a great poster created by painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, A poesia está rua.It means Poetry is in the streets.Adres, a Portuguese street artist, made this graffiti to celebrate the Revolution in 1981.

Hello again!

I am back with a few more lines about April Revolution. One day left for Freedom Day!

April 25 is now celebrated as a national holiday. Now you know that it marks the bloodless military coup that was supported by the civilian population. It allowed democracy and civil liberties to the Portuguese people after almost five decades of dictatorship (1937-1974). The Carnation Revolution ended the Estado Novo regime, the longest dictatorship in Europe, changing the Portuguese political system from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy.

However, I must say that by all standards, 40 years later, Portugal is still one of the poorest countries in Europe and of the European Union. Presently we're undergoing political turmoil and general discontent from large sectors of the population. Every day someone will say that we need a new April 25. Every day someone will say that most promises of April 25 aren't fulfilled. The truth is that Portugal is in recession. The purchasing power of the Portuguese population is gone, and unemployment and inflation are high. The cost of living went up, salaries came down and benefits were reduced. The ones who thought that was safe are getting their pensions shortened after a long life of hard work and social security monthly contributions. Young people are leaving the country every week. The working middle-class suffocates with a tax rise. Portugal is turning into a two-class country of rich and powerful and poor! Values like equality or solidarity are far from being a reality when justice, education, or health is more and more a privilege just for some. So tomorrow when popular demonstrations hit the street they will show discontent and not joy. Yet, a lot changed in a couple of hours and I feel thankful to those who decided to act. Those men and women who were imprisoned and tortured, those who fought for freedom, are heroes and we should never forget that.

I made a quick summary of some of the immediate consequences of the Revolution:

- In April 1975 a constitutive assembly was elected by universal suffrage for the first time and a constitution was drawn up by the ones elected.

- Over the course of the next decade a stable two-party system was established.

- General Spinola served briefly as interim president and was succeeded by General Francisco da Costa Gomes.

- Banks and big industries were nationalized and a major redistribution of land was carried out.

- Hundreds of political prisoners were released.

- Finally, there was freedom of speech for everyone, citizens, authors, and artists. The press, radio, and television were now free of censorship.

- The road network increased and decreased the isolation of the interior.

- The quality of life improved in many aspects.

- In 1980, the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores became autonomous regions to enjoy self-government.

- Over the next few years, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Cape Verde Islands, São Tome and Príncipe, and Angola all became independent. By the end of 1975, the colonies had been granted independence - only Macau remains to be handed over to China in 1999. The independence of these former colonies produced over one million Portuguese refugees (retornados).

- Portugal's entry into the European Union (1986) opened up opportunities for trade and increased funding.

Celebrating 40 years of Revolution.

Portuguese street artist Carlos Farinha

Place: Calçada da Glória/Largo da Oliveirinha - Lisboa

GAU - Galeria de Arte Urbana