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On this day April, 25 1974

The song “Grândola, Vila Morena” by Zeca Afonso was broadcast on radio, signalling the start of the Carnation Revolution, a bloodless coup against the Estado Novo regime in Portugal.

Zeca Afonso

The Carnation Revolution (Portuguese: Revolução dos Cravos), also referred to as the 25 de Abril, was a left-leaning military coup started on April 25, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal.

The revolution effectively changed the Portuguese regime from an authoritarian dictatorship to a democracy after two years of a transitional period known as PREC (Processo Revolucionário Em Curso, or On-Going Revolutionary Process), characterized by social turmoil and power dispute between left and right wing political forces.

Despite repeated appeals from the revolutionaries on the radio inciting the population to stay home, thousands of Portuguese descended on the streets, mixing themselves with the military insurgents. Read More…

Eurozone growth lowered to zero

According to revised official figures, the economy of the eurozone, the sixteen European countries using the euro, did not grow at all in the final quarter of last year. Eurostat reports that the number was revised from an initial figure of +0.1%.

Eurozone 2010

Meanwhile, the eurozone’s lost more than 2.2% in a year-on year comparison, more than the initial estimate of 2.1%.

According to the numbers, Ireland saw an output drop of 2.3% in the last quarter of 2009, while Greece, the country in the eurozone with the most debt, had its economy contract by 0.8%. Italy was down by 0.3%, Germany saw no gain, but France posted a 0.6% quarterly growth.

The Associated Press reports the stagnation was unexpected by analysts, and will only reinforce expectations that the European Central Bank will keep the key interest rate at one percent for most of 2010.

On this day January 1, 2002

Euro banknotes and coins become legal tender in twelve of the European Union’s member states.

euro_banknotesThe euro (currency sign: ; currency code: EUR) is the official currency of fifteen member states of the European Union (EU).

The states, known collectively as the Eurozone are: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, and Spain. Read More…

On this day December 20, 1999

Portugal transferred sovereignty of Macau to the People’s Republic of China.

Macau was both the first and the last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover on December 20, 1999.

The Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of Macau stipulate that Macau operates with a high degree of autonomy until at least 2049, fifty years after the transfer. Read More…

On this day October 25, 1147

Forces under King Afonso I of Portugal captured Lisbon from the Moors after a four-month siege in what would be one of their only successes during the Second Crusade.

On August 6, 711 Lisbon was taken by the Moors and called al-ʾIšbūnah in Arabic الأشبونة, under whose rule the city flourished. The Moors, who were Muslims from North Africa and the Middle East, built many mosques and houses as well as a new city wall, currently named the Cerca Moura. The city kept a diverse population including Christians, Berbers, Arabs, Jews and Saqalibas.

Arabic was forced on the Christians as the official language. Mozarabic was the mother language spoken by the Christian population. Islam was the official religion practiced by the Arabs and Muladi (muwallad), the Christians could keep their religion but under Dhimmi status and were required to pay the jizyah (per capita tax). Read More…

Eurozone in recession

The Eurozone is now officially in a recession, due to the recently released figures showing that, in the third quarter of 2008, the economy shrunk by 0.2%.

European Central Bank

European Central Bank

For a recession to be official, the economy must have shrunk for at least two consecutive quarters. This is the case as the Eurozone’s economy also shrunk by 0.2% in the second quarter of this year.

Howard Archer, the chief European economist for Global Insight commented on these results. “Not only did the third quarter contraction in GDP confirm that the Eurozone is now in recession, but latest data and survey evidence indicate that the fourth quarter is likely to see a sharper fall in GDP as the financial crisis bites harder,” he stated.

This development comes after two large countries in the Eurozone, Germany and Italy announced that they were in a recession. Read More…

On this day November 1, 1755

Ruins of Lisbon in flames and a tsunami overwhelming the ships

Ruins of Lisbon in flames and a tsunami overwhelming the ships

A massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed Lisbon, and killed at least 60,000 people in Portugal and Morocco.

The earthquake, also known as the Great Lisbon Earthquake, took place on November 1, 1755 at around 9:40 in the morning. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami and fire, which caused near-total destruction of Lisbon, Portugal and adjoining areas.

Geologists today estimate the Lisbon earthquake approached magnitude 9 on the Richter scale, with an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 km (120 mi) west-southwest of Cape St. Vincent. Estimates place the death toll between 60,000 to 100,000 people, making it one of the most destructive earthquakes in history.

On this day October 4, 1910

After the Declaration of the Portuguese Republic. King Manuel II flees to the United Kingdom.

Manuel II of Portugal

Manuel II of Portugal

The murder of a prominent republican precipitated the revolution that had been so long in preparation.  Revolution erupted on October 4, 1910.

A military coup was commenced by soldiers who were joined by some civilians and municipal guards attacking loyal garrisons and the royal palace, while the guns of a warship added to the revolutionary colonnade.

Three days of almost constant street fighting were enough to drive out the young King. Manuel fled on the royal yacht to British ruled Gibraltar.