Bank Holiday “good news” for 2016

While the country’s political leaders gaze into crystal balls trying to plot their futures, the good news is that Portugal’s man-in-the-street can start planning ahead in the knowledge that 2016 is going to be a boon year for national holidays.

Of the days off that politicians have left us with no less than five open the way for “mini-férias”, the popular long-weekend breaks that workforces delight in while bosses quietly fume.

Diário de Notícias explains that of the nine national holidays on the calendar, more than half coincide with either Mondays or Fridays.

January 1, for example, falls on a Friday – so New Year excesses can be taken to almost every extreme with the full knowledge that there are easily two days in which to recover.

Good Friday (of course comes on a Friday) and precedes April 25 (Liberty day) on a Monday, June 10 (Portugal/ Camões day) on a Friday, August 15 (Catholic, Ascension of Our Lady) on a Monday and even better, Christmas Day (December 25) as well as the national holiday two weeks before (December 8) which both fall on a Thursday – giving people the chance to stretch time off to five days.

Added to all the fun could be Carnaval (a Tuesday) – though no longer accepted as a national holiday, it is still often taken as one, and could create another five-day labour vacuum if workers are canny.

In Lisbon, the city day also falls on a Monday next year, while in Porto it falls on a Friday.

DN explains, “those who study their diaries trying to anticipate mini-férias and stretch the statutory 22-days holiday” will have much to play with – but it also brings some drama into the situation, suggesting that every public holiday in Portugal costs the economy €37 million.

To date, however, no media source has hazarded a guess as to the cost to the economy of each day of political uncertainty. If today’s news is to be believed, we’re in for weeks of it…
Happy weekend!

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