March 23, 2018 by Eden Flaherty
The Week em Breve – March 22
Welcome to The Week em Breve! In our new series, Atlas Lisboa staff will recap all the news that’s fit to print, er, tweet, covered in the Portuguese press. Now you’ll have something to chat about with your Portuguese mates over beers and not seem like a total palhaço!
Observador Reminisces About Champalimaud on the Centenary of His Birth
Anybody that has traveled the line from Cais do Sodré to Cascais will have noticed the most intriguing of buildings: the Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown. If like us, you prefer to live with some mysteries intact, you won’t have googled it. But perhaps now is the time to know more, with this interesting celebration of Champalimaud on the centenary of his birth. Observador writes about Champalimaud’s exile in Brazil and his ongoing love of industry, despite his later work in banking. He came to be an outcast of his class due to his directness and fierce work ethic, and this is a rather personal piece reminiscing on what the author considers to be one of the forgotten greats.
Former Prime Minister José Sócrates Heads to Coimbra for Talk on Economics
Forget House of Cards and presidential tweets, this is a real controversy. Former Socialist prime minister José Sócrates is heading to the University of Coimbra despite being currently involved in a legal case, Operação Marquês. The organizers of the talk are aware of this controversy, but he is still considered an expert on the European project after the economic crisis. Sócrates has been charged with 31 crimes, and there has been heavy criticism on social media of him being given the microphone. A demonstration by students against rising tuition fees is set to take place around the same time, so we may see more on this in the news soon.
Train Derails on the Douro Line, Luckily Without Injury
A train has derailed on the Douro line, making it the sixth since 2015. Reportedly, it was caused by rocks on the line, but luckily no one was injured. The accident happened on an unmodernized section, and shows the poor state of the Douro line. However, even though this has happened again, there is no plan to modernize this section anytime soon. Stay safe on your travels, guys.
Airbnb Steps Up Against the Big Boys of the Hotel World
The longtime provider of DIY accommodation, Airbnb, has decided to reach out to professional hoteliers to fight for bookings in hotels. The biggest competition will be Booking.com, which currently accounts for 80% of hotel bookings in Portugal. Offering lower fees than the traditional websites, Airbnb may have found a way to expand and stick around. Growing pressure in cities such as Berlin, which no longer allows the holiday-letting of full apartments, may be forcing Airbnb to explore other avenues. So, whether you love it or you hate it, it looks like Airbnb is here to stay.
Cocaine! Cocaine everywhere! Well, in Santarém, Portalegre e Viseu.
Not to be outdone by the street sellers of Cais do Sodré, four men in Santarém, Portalegre, and Viseu have been taken into custody following a series of searches. The Guarda Nacional Republicana (otherwise known as the GNR…no, not that G N’ R) reported that they found a whopping 340 kilograms (that’s about 150 lbs.) of cocaine with a street value of more than €20 million. Scarface, eat your heart out!
New ‘Uber Law’ Could levy 2% from Fees, and Be Unconstitutional
How will I get to my hip new pad in Intendente now? Well, don’t worry, the government isn’t introducing a new tax, merely a “contribution.” Wording is everything, as critics deem the new 2% levy aimed at services such as Uber, Cabify, and Taxify as unconstitutional. It is as yet unknown how this “contribution” will look or what its impact will be, but if you fancy a little more depth and some comments from key players, read this article by Economia Online.
Heathens! A Massive 42% of Portuguese Youth Declare Themselves Heathens!
A report released on Wednesday has shown that a massive 42% of 16 to 29-year-olds in Portugal don’t consider themselves religious. The remainder, unsurprisingly, was predominantly Christian, more specifically Catholic. The report was broader than just Portugal, looking at religion across Europe, and how it is changing.