British PM David Cameron “requests meeting with Passos Coelho”

Portuguese media is buzzing today with the story that British prime minister David Cameron is on his way back to Portugal – not this time in his holiday FitFlops – but for a meeting with Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho that some sources say he himself requested.

Officially, Sábado says “the conversation between the two heads of government will involve European questions at a time that Passos Coelho has reinforced his role in the EU, particularly calling for rapid reforms to European institutions”.

Unofficially, it is anybody’s guess.

National media alludes to the fact that Cameron recently defied his country’s opinion polls to sweep the board in May’s elections and decimate the Socialist opposition.

It was the kind of victory that Passos Coelho could be keen to learn from as he faces his own election battles here – and as Expresso points out, does not appear to have much hope in gaining a majority.

Indeed Expresso casts doubt on claims that David Cameron requested the meeting at all.

As Portugal’s media mulls over what “mutual interests” the pair might really be discussing, now could be the time to lay the long-running and expensive dual police investigations into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann finally to rest.

Certainly, there has been no news on this front for months.

But for the moment all that is certain is that the two prime ministers will be meeting next Friday in the prime minister’s official residence in São Bento, and that a photograph of them shaking hands and looking chummy may add some useful glow to Passos’ lacklustre election campaign.

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