In Portugal President Antonio Ramalho Eanes said the country's armed forces would firmly support democracy.?
GV President Antonio Ramalho Eanes inspecting troops from jeep at marine school in Vale do Zebro
GV Soldiers ready for inspection
GV ZOOM IN President Eanes and military officers standing for national anthem
GV Military march-past with colourful flags
GV Marines marching past saluting
SV President Eanes flanked by colonel Jaime Neves in red beret ZOOM OUT TO troops marching past
GV Army troops in red scarves and berets march past
GV Armoured car moving past dais ZOOM INTO President Eanes, service officers and officials
GV Foreign military attaches on viewing stand
GV PAN Armoured cars passing dais
The anniversary coincided with a right-wing demonstration in Oporto. About two hundred youths wearing black shirts and swastika armbands roamed the city shouting slogans in favour of Hitler and the former right-wing Portuguese dictator Antonio de Olivera Salazar. They attacked and damaged left-wing party offices before being dispersed by police using tear gas.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: In Portugal President Antonio Ramalho Eanes said the country's armed forces would firmly support democracy. He was speaking at a military parade on Saturday (25 November) marking the third anniversary of a left-wing coup. President Eanes first came to prominence in Portugal in 1975 as an obscure Lieutenant-Colonel when he led loyal commando troops that crushed the left-wing coup.
SYNOPSIS: President Eanes celebrated the anniversary by reviewing troops at the marines' school in Vale do Zebro, south of the Portuguese capital of Lisbon. The President is also Chief-of-Staff to Portugal's armed forces which number almost sixty thousand men.
Despite their important role in helping Portugal through the delicate transition to democracy, President Eanes is pledged to limit the power of the armed forces. In his address the President urged the armed forces to reject extremism and support democracy. A full explanation of the events which preceded the attempted left-wing coup in 1975 has never been given, but President Eanes told troops it had been crushed to prevent radicals violating human rights in Portugal.
Standing at the President's right as the troops marched past was the beretclad figure of Colonel Jaime Neves, a senior commando officer and leader of the troops that supported President Eanes in 1975.
In recent years Portugal's young democracy has ben faced by grave economic and social problems. On Wednesday (22 November) a new apolitical government, Portugal's tenth since the 1974 revolution, was sworn in. New Prime Minister, Dr. Carlos Mota Pinto, faces a difficult task in getting the people to accept the new government's austerity programme aimed at reducing a huge budget deficit.
Foreign military attaches heard President Eanes say that since the 1974 revolution military spending had been cut be two thirds to ten per cent of the National Budget. The President said this was the armed forces' contribution to the austerity drive which he said was very important for the nation's economic recovery.