Government will not alter public holidays

MINISTER FOR Work and Solidarity Vieira da Silva has confirmed that the government has no plans on the table to alter the scheduling of public holidays that currently fall midweek to Mondays and Fridays.

The declaration was made at the end of the presentation session for Portugal’s Quadro Nacional de Referência Estratégico (QREN), the country’s strategic priorities for the period of 2007 to 2013, that took place at Feira Internacional de Lisboa (FIL) last week.

In Bangalore, during his state visit to India, President of the Republic, Cavaco Silva was told by the Portuguese managing director of technology firm WIPRO, that Portugal should change its public holidays so that they only fall on Mondays and Fridays and not midweek.


Cavaco Silva responded, pointing out that when he was Prime Minister, he made an attempt to alter some of the bank holidays, but that his proposal was vetoed by then President, Mário Soares.

Economists for some years have been saying that business is negatively affected by the midweek holidays and the comments the President made abroad have put the contentious issue back in the headlines.

On the part of the government, “there is no project relating to this issue on the table,” Vieira da Silva stated, after questions from journalists.

It would appear that the present government has no gripe with the current holiday schedule, favouring tradition rather than practicality. In fact, Prime Minister Sócrates even granted civil servants an extra day off over Christmas, declaring December 26, a holiday for staff.

Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]