Ministers from 18 West European countries who met in Strasbourg on Thursday (17 April) expressed concern over the situation in Portugal.
MV PAN Delegates from Iceland, Greece, Germany, France, denmark,, Chairman and officials, and delegates from Cyprus, Belgium and U.K.
SV ZOOM OUT Mr. Roy Hattersley talking to Mr. Andersen and Mr. Ackermann
SV Norwegian Foreign Minister seated
MV Delegates from Italy
Initials BB/1710 FC/DU/BB/1725
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Background: Ministers from 18 West European countries who met in Strasbourg on Thursday (17 April) expressed concern over the situation in Portugal.
It was reported that the Ministers felt that the forthcoming elections was an encouraging sign but Lisbon was still a long way from real democracy.
Reuter reported that this was the consensus that emerged after a detailed discussion on Portugal in the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers.
It quoted informed sources as saying that the ministers believed that Portugal's European colleagues should spare no efforts to help the country on the road to democracy, after 50 years of dictatorship.
The Committee approved in principle a Portuguese aid programme probably worth about one million French francs (about 100,000 sterling). The exact financial details would be settled later.
It was believed that the money would be used mainly to finance trips by Portuguese to the council headquarters in Strasbourg to study western European democratic procedures and social and human rights provisions.