2019 in Portugal

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See also:List of years in Portugal

Events in the year 2019 in Portugal.



January to March[edit]

  • 16 January:
    • Police intercept 430 kilograms of cocaine hidden within a shipment of bananas in Leixões after receiving a tip-off from the Spanish authorities. The seized cocaine was en route to Spain from Latin America and is estimated to have a street value of approximately €15 million.[1]
    • A Portuguese man, named as Rui Pinto by Portuguese media, is detained in Hungary on charges of extortion after hacking the emails of F.C. Porto, S.L. Benfica, and Sporting Lisbon. Details from the hacked emails later appear on the website Football Leaks.[2] Pinto's lawyers later confirm his identity as the arrested man.[3]
  • 4 February – Portugal joins fifteen other European governments in recognising Juan Guaido as the acting president of Venezuela in the country's leadership dispute.[4]
  • 14 February – Figures released by the Instituto Nacional de Estatística show that the number of tourists visiting Portugal in 2018 was the highest on record at 12.8 million.[5]
  • 7 March – In response to the deaths of twelve women to domestic violence since the beginning of the year, the highest number in Portugal for a decade, a national day of mourning is held with flags being flown at half-mast and the Assembly observing a minute's silence.[6]
  • 8 March – Between 6,000 and 10,000 people march in Lisbon demanding improvements in pay and working conditions for nurses.[7]
  • 28–29 March – A series of wildfires break out in the north of the country after a spell of unseasonably warm and dry weather. There are no reports of any injuries.[8]

April to May[edit]

  • 4 April – Amid increasing criticism of nepotism within the government, Secretary of State for the Environment Carlos Martins resigns after the appointment of his cousin as his assistant becomes public.[9]
  • 15–18 April – Drivers of fuel-tankers strike over pay and working conditions, agreeing only to a minimum service requirement of delivering supplies to critical infrastructure. Despite government requests motorists form long queues at petrol stations across the country, thousands of which run completely dry.[10] The strike ends on 18 April after the drivers' employers agree to hold talks the following month.[11]
  • 17 April – At least 29 people are killed and a further 27 are injured in a bus crash on the island of Madeira.[12]
  • 10 May – A bill to financially compensate teachers for a series of wage freezes over the past ten years is opposed by MPs after Prime Minister António Costa threatens to resign his government and call an early general election if passed. Forecast to cost at least €600 million, Costa argues that approval of the bill would have constituted an unacceptable divergence from the government's economic objectives.[13]
  • 18 May – In association football, Benfica secure the 2018-19 Primeira Liga title with a 4–1 victory over C.D. Santa Clara, becoming Portuguese football league champions for the 37th time.[14]
  • 20 May – Eight police officers are found guilty of the kidnapping and assault of six men in Amadora in 2015.[15]
  • 26 May – European Parliament election: The Socialist Party wins the highest proportion of the vote with 35.9%, securing nine of Portugal's twenty-one seats in the European Parliament. The Social Democratic Party finishes second with six seats and 23.6% of the vote. The remaining seats are won by the Left Bloc, the Unitary Democratic Coalition, the CDS – People's Party, and People–Animals–Nature.[16] The result is seen as bolstering the chances of Prime Minister António Costa winning an overall majority in October's general election and represents the worst result for the Social Democratic Party in a national election.[17]

June to July[edit]

7 July: The Palace of Mafra is awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status
  • 2 June – In motor racing, Estonia's Ott Tänak wins the 2019 Rally de Portugal.[18]
  • 4 June – The police announce the successful dismantling of a human trafficking network in the north of the country after a six-month investigation. Twenty women are rescued from the trafficking ring and eight foreign nationals are arrested.[19]
  • 9 June – In association football, Portugal win the inaugural UEFA Nations League with a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto.[20]
  • 21–30 June – Ninety-nine Portuguese athletes contest the 2019 European Games held in the Belarusian capital of Minsk,[21] winning a total of 15 medals. The country's three gold medals are won by Carlos Nascimento in the men's 100-metres, Fu Yu in the women's individual table tennis, and the men's team in beach football.[22]
  • 7 July – UNESCO announces the addition of the Palace of Mafra and the Bom Jesus do Monte to its list of World Heritage Sites, bringing the total number of sites in Portugal to seventeen.[23]
  • 20 July – A series of wildfires break out in the Castelo Branco district, injuring at least 20 people. More than 1,800 firefighters are sent to attempt to contain the outbreak.[24]
  • 30 July – The government seizes a series of more than 900 artworks belonging to businessman José Berardo, who had pledged the collection as a guarantee of debt repayments to the state totalling some €1 billion. The paintings, which include works by Joan Miró and Piet Mondrian, have been publicly exhibited in Lisbon's museums since 2006.[25]

August to September[edit]

  • 9 August – In anticipation of a second strike by drivers of fuel-tankers, the government declares an energy crisis to maintain supplies to critical infrastructure such as hospitals and airports. It also announces rationing of petrol and diesel lasting from 10 August until 21 August, restricting motorists to a maximum of 15 litres of fuel.[26]
  • 12–16 August – Fuel-tanker drivers strike for the second time this year over pay and working conditions. In their absence police officers and soldiers are drafted in to help maintain supplies to key sectors. Fourteen striking drivers are meanwhile cited by the government for flouting a decree mandating their co-operation in deliveries to hospitals and other critical infrastructure.[27] After five days the fuel-tanker drivers agree to end their strike on 16 August and enter negotiations.[28]
  • 11 September – MPs vote to condemn the planned opening of a museum later in the year dedicated to António de Oliveira Salazar, the authoritarian Prime Minister of Portugal from 1932 to 1968, in Salazar's hometown of Santa Comba Dão.[29]
  • 22 September – Madeiran regional election: The Social Democratic Party loses the majority it has held in the Legislative Assembly since 1976 and enters into a coalition with the CDS – People's Party.[30]

October to December[edit]

1 October: Hurricane Lorenzo passes over the Azores at category one strength
  • 2 October – Hurricane Lorenzo passes over the Azores, severely damaging the main port on Flores and bringing down trees and power lines. There are no reports of any injuries.[31]
  • 6 October – Legislative election: The Socialist Party of Prime Minister António Costa wins 106 seats to remain the largest party in the Assembly, taking 36.7% of votes ahead of the Social Democratic Party on 29.7%. Short by an overall majority of ten seats, Costa announces negotiations to continue his party's alliance with the Left Bloc and the Portuguese Communist Party for another term.[32] Chega meanwhile becomes the first far-right party to win a seat in the Assembly since the Carnation Revolution.[33] Turnout falls to 54.5%, the lowest for a general election since Portugal's return to democracy in 1974.[32]
  • 22 October – Obstetrician Artur Carvalho is suspended by the Ordem dos Médicos over claims of negligent conduct after having failed to detect severe fetal abnormalities in a boy born on 7 October in Setúbal.[34] Further cases of similar negligence by Carvalho spanning more than 10 years subsequently emerge, prompting media debates over procedures within the national health care system.[35]
  • 13 November – Prime Minister António Costa unveils government plans to raise the monthly minimum wage from €600 to €635 on 1 January 2020 as part of a pledge to reach €750 by 2023.[36]
  • 5 December – Government officials confirm that Chinese technology company Huawei will not be prevented from helping to develop the nation's 5G wireless network. The decision comes amid warnings to European nations from United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the risk of Huawei passing critical and confidential data onto the Chinese government.[37]
  • 19–20 December – Two people are killed and 50 are made homeless in Porto as Storm Elsa passes over the country, bringing severe rainfall and flooding.[38] The weather causes disruption to ferry services across the Tagus and to train services between Lisbon and Porto, the latter of which are temporarily halted until 22 December.[39]

Ongoing events[edit]

A ceramic azulejo panel commemorating the first circumnavigation of the world



Teotónio de Souza in 2009
Roberto Leal in 2010
Argentina Santos (left) in 2007

January to March[edit]

April to June[edit]

July to September[edit]

October to December[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Portuguese police intercept cocaine shipment to Spain". Associated Press. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Football Leaks: 'Suspected hacker' detained in Hungary". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  3. ^ Demony, Catarina; Almeida, Goncalo (23 January 2019). Nick Tattersall; Jon Boyle (eds.). "Arrested Portuguese hacker is Football Leaks 'whistleblower': lawyers". Reuters. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  4. ^ Goodman, Joshua; Hatton, Barry (4 February 2019). "EU nations endorse Venezuela opposition leader over Maduro". Associated Press. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  5. ^ Demony, Catarina; Almeida, Goncalo (14 February 2019). Andrei Khalip; Kirsten Donovan (eds.). "Portugal tourism growth slows sharply in 2018, still ekes out record". Reuters. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  6. ^ Demony, Catarina; Almeida, Goncarlo (7 March 2019). Axel Brugge (ed.). "Portugal's parliament falls silent to remember domestic violence victims". Reuters. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  7. ^ Demony, Catarina; Pereira, Miguel; Khalip, Andrei (8 March 2019). Hugh Lawson (ed.). "Portuguese nurses' 'white march' protest takes over Lisbon streets". Reuters. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  8. ^ Demony, Catarina; Marchante, Rafael (29 March 2019). Axel Bugge; Peter Graff (eds.). "Wildfires blaze across unseasonably hot, dry Portugal". Reuters. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Senior official quits in Portuguese family ties controversy". Associated Press. 4 April 2019. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Fuel shortages across Portugal amid hauliers' strike". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 17 April 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Portuguese truckers end strike that caused gas shortages". ABC News. Associated Press. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Madeira crash: At least 29 killed on tourist bus near Caniço". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 April 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  13. ^ Oliveira, Ivo (10 May 2019). "Portugal's parliament rejects teachers' pay rises". Politico. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Benfica win 37th Portuguese title with win over Santa Clara". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  15. ^ "Portugal police convicted of attack on black youths". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Results by national party: 2019-2024, Portugal - Official results". European Parliament. Retrieved 17 May 2020.
  17. ^ Goncalves, Sergio; Brugge, Alex; Demony, Catarina (27 May 2019). Andrei Khalip; Mark Heinrich (eds.). "Portugal's Socialists prepare run for majority rule after EU vote". Reuters. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  18. ^ Barry, Luke (2 June 2019). "WRC Portugal: Toyota's Tanak wins, Meeke retires on powerstage". Autosport. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  19. ^ Demony, Catarina (4 June 2019). Axel Brugge; Ed Osmond (eds.). "Portuguese police halt human trafficking network, 20 women freed". Reuters. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  20. ^ Wallace, Sam (9 June 2019). "Portugal win Nations League with Goncalo Guedes strike enough to beat Holland". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
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  22. ^ "Portugal fecha II Jogos Europeus com 15 medalhas". Publico (in Portuguese). 30 June 2019. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  23. ^ "Portugual welcomes UNESCO's decision to inscribe two of its sites on World Heritage List". Xinhua News Agency. 7 July 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  24. ^ "Firefighters battle wildfires sweeping parts of central Portugal". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Associated Press. 21 July 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Portugal seizes art from businessman who owes almost £1bn". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Agence-France Presse. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2021.
  26. ^ Demony, Catarina (9 August 2019). Axel Bugge; Keith Weir (eds.). "Portugal prepares to ration fuel before tanker drivers strike". Reuters. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  27. ^ "Portugal strike: Tanker drivers defy threat of arrest". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 14 August 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  28. ^ Demony, Catarina; Khalip, Andrei (16 August 2019). Axel Bugge; Frances Kerry (eds.). "Portugal fuel-tanker drivers say they will suspend strike, negotiate". Reuters. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  29. ^ "Portuguese MPs denounce museum dedicated to dictator Salazar". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Agence France-Presse. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
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  31. ^ Hatton, Barry (2 October 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo batters mid-Atlantic Azores Islands". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  32. ^ a b Henley, Jon (7 October 2019). "Portugal election: Socialists retain power with increased share of the vote". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
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  35. ^ "Portuguese doctor suspended after baby born without a face". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  36. ^ Demony, Catarina; Vicente Rua, Patricia; Waldersee, Victoria (13 November 2019). Andrew Cawthorne (ed.). "Portugal to raise minimum wage to 635 euros, still lowest in western Europe". Reuters. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  37. ^ Hatton, Barry; Chan, Kelvin (5 December 2019). "Portugal resists US appeal to bar Huawei from 5G network". Associated Press. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  38. ^ Bellamy, David (21 December 2019). "Eight killed as storm Elsa batters southern Europe". Euronews. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  39. ^ Minder, Raphael; Magra, Iliana (22 December 2019). "Severe Weather Across Europe Leaves at Least 9 Dead". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  40. ^ Minder, Raphael (20 September 2019). "Who First Circled the Globe? Not Magellan, Spain Wants You to Know". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 May 2020.
  41. ^ "Descobrimento das Ilhas da Madeira e Porto Santo". Arquivo Nacional Torre de Tombo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 21 February 2021.
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  52. ^ Sá Lopes, Ana (2 July 2019). "Morreu Manuel Costa Braz, militar de Abril. "Nunca ocupou lugares de ribalta, mas foi essencial", diz Marcelo". Publico (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 February 2021.
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  61. ^ "Morreu o psicanalista Carlos Amaral Dias". Diário de Notícias (in Portuguese). Lusa News Agency. 3 December 2019.
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