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Saturday, 1 May 2010

Mayday, Mayday

While most eyes will have been on Greece – because that’s where the news is coming from – the first day of May has not been without incident elsewhere.

In the UK, the thought of a serving Prime Minister going walkabout – whatever their party – would not arise. But today, Portuguese PM José Sócrates did just that. The reaction was, let us say, mixed, and ultimately I was reminded of the moment in the (original) The Taking Of Pelham 1-2-3 where the police have their train of thought interrupted by a chorus of boos, the senior officer exclaiming “hey, it’s da goddam mayor”.

Elsewhere, the Benfica team coach (transport, not manager) was attacked in Porto, which tells you how serious the rivalry between the country’s largest cities can get. And the celebrations of this day (remember, it’s a public holiday across Europe, even if we in the UK have to wait until next Monday) have been featured on local TV, including one part of Lisbon where I have been out and about this afternoon.

Those of a sensitive disposition will be glad to know that I managed successfully to bodyswerve this potentially dubious venture into the limelight.

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