- Published: January 9, 2017
The Council of Ministers has decreed three days of national mourning for the death of Mário Soares, former President of Republic, as well as a funeral with State honors.
«Mário Soares is one of the great figures of the Portuguese history of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century, justly considered the founder of our democratic regime.
Both due to the top positions he held in the State and the far-reaching decisions he made on behalf of the country, he can be considered the political protagonist, of our time, who most shaped the founding options of the Portuguese democracy.
From a very young age and during his long life, Mário Soares fought for freedom, both in the resistance to the Estado Novo dictatorship, which cost him prison, deportation and exile, and in the struggle to consolidate the constitutional democracy. Additionally Mário Soares was also the main responsible for Portugal's accession to the European Community, and was the great driver behind the country's opening to Europe and the World.
Mário Soares is thus indelibly linked to the contemporary history of Portugal and to the transformation, opening and modernization of Portuguese society. He was the first Minister of Foreign Affairs after the Revolution, later he would become the first Prime Minister of the democratic Republic that come out the 25 of April of 1974. He would, finally, become the first civilian to be elected President of the Republic since 1926.
Holder of an international reputation, attested by many relevant awards and prizes, Mário Soares maintained an active presence in civic, political, social and cultural life for many decades, even after leaving office, thinking, writing and acting according to his constant conviction in freedom, democracy and social progress.
The Portuguese Republic is therefore indebted to him for his long and unconditional dedication to the public cause and his exemplary contribution to the prestige of Portugal.»