British ambassador Chris Sainty has used his monthly column in Jornal Económico to heap praise on Portugal which he describes as a “little country with a very big heart”.
Representing the UK in Lisbon since 2018, it’s clear from the text that Mr Sainty has been totally won over by the Portuguese way of life.
He has “learnt to love this country with all (his) heart”, he writes, and feels certain that not only will Portugal survive the calamity of Covid-19, it will emerge stronger.
“The kindness, generosity, warmth and joy of the Portuguese is unlike anything I have experienced anywhere else. And it is now clear to me that those qualities that I love and admire so much are the same qualities that will enable Portugal to win the battle against this virus”.
“In recent days I have seen evidence all around of people coming together (while maintaining appropriate social distance, of course!) to help the elderly, the vulnerable and those in need. The dedication, courage and resilience of those in the national health services, the emergency services and in many other front line occupations, has been absolutely humbling to witness.
“We are only just beginning to comprehend the scale of the challenge COVID-19 represents for our societies, our economies and our way of life. None of us has ever experienced anything quite like this before and the world will not be the same again. Our political leaders are struggling with some of the most difficult choices governments have ever had to make. The Portuguese government has my utmost respect as it faces those decisions here”.
“The road ahead is very daunting and the world will seem a dark place for some time to come”, he adds, but he knows “Portugal will not only survive this, it will emerge stronger”.
Mr Sainty concludes his heartwarming eulogy to a host country that has been Britain’s ally since the time of the crusades with “please know that you can always count on the friendship and solidarity of your oldest friend and ally, the United Kingdom.
“Look after yourselves, look after each other and stay safe and well”.