INTRODUCTION: Many of Portugal's top military and civilian leaders attended a military parade near Lisbon on Thursday (26 November) to mark the sixth anniversary of a counter-coup which took the present government to power.
VILA FRANCA NAVAL SCHOOL BASE, NEAR LISBON, PORTUGAL (VISNEWS - ALFONSO PINTO )
SV PAN Oliveira Dais, acting head of state walks towards soldiers on parade ground
SV PULL BACK TO GV PAN Band playing national anthem, military taking salute (2 shots)
SV Oliveira drives past in Landrover
GV PAN Visiting military leaders at parade
GV PAN Oliveira taking salute from military vehicle during drive past
SV General Melo Egidio, Chief of Portugal's armed forces, addressing troops
GVs Military units marching past saluting stand (3 shots)
Background: INTRODUCTION: Many of Portugal's top military and civilian leaders attended a military parade near Lisbon on Thursday (26 November) to mark the sixth anniversary of a counter-coup which took the present government to power. The only figure of note there was President Ramalho Eanes. General Eanes was on a state visit to the former Portuguese African colony of Mozambique.
SYNOPSIS: The president's place was taken by acting head of state Oliveira Dias, a right wing parliament and Christian Democratic speaker of the House.
As military bands played the Portuguese national anthem, Mr. Dias took his place alongside military leaders attending the display at Vila Franca naval school base 30 kilometres (18 miles) from the capital. The parade came at a time when Portugal's influential armed forces are waiting to see whether parliament decides to return to civilian control.
The generals have been self-governing since 1974 when Portugal's right-wing dictatorship was overthrown by pro-communist. Nearly two years of political turmoil followed before another coup steered power from pro-Communist hands towards parliamentary democrats. Some generals like Melo Egidio want to retain control.
In his speech General Egidio warned politicians not to interfere with the armed forces. He said the army had kept out of politics and the situation had normalised since the mid 70's. He also criticised military spending cuts planned for 1982 saying the forces would barely be able to carry out their expected functions.
Cuts are needed because of Portugal's economic situation. Yet it is not as bad as November 1975 when these left wing forces rebelled. They were protesting at plans to disband their regiment while the country as a whole suffered raging inflation and wondered about its future.
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