Parliament condemns plan for 'museum' dedicated to dictator Salazar

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 11-09-2019 17:34:00 · 0 Comments
Parliament condemns plan for 'museum' dedicated to dictator Salazar

Portugal’s parliament has condemned plans to create a "museum" dedicated to the dictator António Oliveira Salazar in Santa Comba Dão, the town where he was born, in Viseu district.

In a formal vote, it approved a motion tabled by the Communist Party (PCP) that states that the plan is an "affront to democracy".

In the vote, the centre-right Social Democratic Party (PSD) and right-wing People’s Party (CDS-PP) abstained, but the left parties, which together have a majority – the governing Socialist Party and its parliamentary support base the Left Bloc (BE), PCP and Greens voted in favour.

The motion was tabled in parliament’s Standing Committee, which substitutes for the plenary during the summer recess.

PSD, CDS-PP and PS all issued statements explaining why they voted as they did on the matter, which has generated much controversy in recent weeks.

According to the PCP motion, the creation of "a museum" dedicated to the memory of Salazar in Santa Comba Dão is "an affront to democracy [and] democratic values" and represents an "offence to the memory of the victims of the dictatorship".

It also calls on those planning to create the museum to "reconsider their position" and appeals to "public and private entities, [not to] directly or indirectly support this initiative".

The vote comes after the municipal council in Santa Comba Dão announced its intention to create a ‘New State Interpretative Centre’, in partnership with other regional entities and included in a network relating to history and political memory.

The ‘New State’ was the name given by Salazar's government to the corporatist regime formally established in Portugal in 1933, following on from the National Dictatorship created after the coup of 28 May 1926 against the democratic but unstable First Republic.

The regime - by then overseen by Salazar's successor, Marcello Caetano - was brought down in 1974 by a left-wing military coup that ultimately ushered in democracy.


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