Stories written by Mario de Queiroz

PORTUGAL: Economic Crisis Looms, But Clean Energy Shines On

While the shadow of a speculative assault looms over Portugal, similar to the economic crises that hit Greece and Ireland, this Iberian nation manages to hold up the beacon of renewable energy.

Lisbon Armed to the Teeth for NATO Summit

Helicopter gunships patrolling the skies, missile launcher ships in the Tagus estuary, police with heavy machineguns and armoured cars deployed on the main streets of the Portuguese capital have created a warlike ambience in the city hosting the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Summit.

ECONOMY: East Timor Extends a Hand to Troubled Portugal

With the announcement that his country is ready to buy Portuguese debt, the president of East Timor, José Ramos-Horta, set a precedent in international economic relations that was universally praised in political and financial circles in this southern European country.

Daniela Rodrigues, of SOS Racism, condemns ongoing anti-Roma government actions.  Credit: Katalin Muharay/IPS

EUROPE: Roma Conference Decries Government-Led Discrimination

Over the centuries, racism in the Americas has targeted indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants, while in Europe, secular racism has long centred on its once-enslaved gypsies, as their recent persecution in France and Italy confirms.

PORTUGAL: Prominent Figures Sentenced in Child Sex Ring Scandal

A trial that dragged on for six years amidst public outrage ended Friday in Portugal with the unexpected sentencing of prominent personalities, found guilty in a child sex abuse scandal that shook the nation.

Fire threatens Salamonde dam in Peneda-Gerês Natural Park. Credit: Katalin Muharay/IPS

Portugal’s Forests Losing Ability to Capture Carbon

Environmentalists are alarmed: fires have destroyed close to 100,000 hectares of forest in Portugal this summer, releasing one million tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Worst of all, the forests are losing their ability to absorb carbon.

Immigrant football teams playing at the Primeiro de Dezembro Stadium, in Sintra, Portugal. Credit: Katalin Muharay/IPS

MIGRATION-PORTUGAL: On the Football Pitch, Everyone Is Equal

Football functions on so many levels. It can be big business, moving astronomical quantities of cash, with obscene salaries for owners, coaches and star players. And it can be a widely played sport, found in every park, street or vacant lot. And it can be the common ground for multicultural coexistence.

Portugal Looks to Former Colonies for Lifeline in Crisis

First Angola, and now Brazil, Portugal's two largest former colonial possessions, are extending a helping hand to the battered Portuguese economy.

Activists handing out condoms ahead of pope's mass in Lisbon.  Credit: Mario de Queiroz/IPS

Pope’s Visit Finds Catholicism on the Decline in Portugal

Pope Benedict XVI began a four-day visit to Portugal Tuesday in an uncomfortable scenario for himself and his followers, amidst accusations that the Catholic Church leadership protected pedophile priests, and the free distribution of condoms by hundreds of protesters here.

Portugal Looking More Like Greece

Portugal is caught in the crossfire between credit rating agencies and international financial speculators who see this country as offering an excellent opportunity to turn a quick profit.

Portugal Faces Carve-Up by Financial Speculators

Worrying economic indicators and gloomy forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are rapidly making Portugal a magnet for international speculative capital.

MADEIRA: Disaster Blamed on Chaotic Urban Planning

Prominent Portuguese environmentalists blamed the Dantesque scene in the tourist island of Madeira Monday, in the wake of flash floods that claimed at least 42 lives over the weekend, on seriously flawed urban planning.

Environment Centre at São Pedro do Estoril  Credit: Katalin Muharay

ENERGY-PORTUGAL: Racing for Renewables

Just a decade ago, criticism rained down on sunny, windy Portugal for not making the most of nature's gifts to develop renewable energy sources. Now all signs indicate that it did not fall on deaf ears, as the country has become a leader in the field.

WORLD SOCIAL FORUM: Positive Reviews, On Balance

Nearly a decade after its inception, and in spite of some reverses, on balance the World Social Forum (WSF) has proved a resounding success as a platform for planet-wide debate, from the point of view of the people most affected by the world's problems.

LATIN AMERICA: Summit Does Not Recognise Elections in Honduras

The hard-line stance taken by Brazil, Argentina and most other Latin American countries has clashed with U.S. efforts to push for international recognition of the elections organised Sunday by the de facto regime in power in Honduras since the Jun. 28 coup.

PORTUGAL: Bible Is “A Catalogue of Cruelties,” Says Saramago

After a nearly two-decade truce, Portuguese Nobel literature laureate José Saramago has returned to the charge against the Catholic Church. This time his target is the Bible itself, which he describes as "a manual of bad morals," and a "catalogue of cruelties and of the worst of human nature."

MIGRATION-PORTUGAL: Pitfalls in the Path to Paradise

Some 200 million people, three percent of the world's population, have left their country of origin to pursue happiness elsewhere, according to the International Organisation for Migration. But their dreams are often shattered by human trafficking rings and unscrupulous employers.

Ana Gomes, socialist MEP for Portugal Credit:

Q&A: “Too Many People Don’t Want the Truth on CIA Flights to Come Out”

Throughout her varied career as a political leader in Portugal, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and ambassador, Ana Gomes has been a distinguished and tireless fighter for what she defines as "just causes." The target of her criticism now is the shelving of an investigation in her country into secret CIA rendition flights.

Mario Soares Credit: Fundação Mário Soares

Q&A: European Election Brings a Wake-Up Call

Global house prices are diving further, unemployment in the 16 countries using the euro increased in April to its highest level in almost ten years, and Eurozone Gross Domestic Product is expected to shrink by 1.9 percent during 2009...

José Ramos-Horta Credit: Jeffrey Kingston

Q&A: Timor’s “Extreme Poverty Is Centuries-Old”

Seven years after winning its independence following nearly five centuries of foreign domination, East Timor is firmly and proudly building its future, despite the heavy burden of widespread, deep-rooted poverty.

AFRICA: Pope on Condoms – Out in the Cold

Political leaders, activists, scientists and even Catholic bishops all joined in the chorus of criticism against the stance taken by Pope Benedict with respect to the use of condoms to curb the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa.

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