Irish President to visit Portugal next week

Irish President to visit Portugal next week

Michael Higgins, the President of Ireland, will make his first state visit to Portugal between Wednesday and Saturday (December 9-12).

The news came yesterday (Thursday) in a statement posted on the Portuguese Republic’s website.

The reason of the visit has not been revealed. All the statement explains is that the invitation came from Portuguese President Cavaco Silva.

Higgins will start the visit on Wednesday by placing a wreath at the grave of Portuguese poet Luís Vaz de Camões. Next up is a meeting between the two presidents, followed by a lunch with Portugal’s new Prime Minister António Costa. In the afternoon, Higgins will be invited to Lisbon council followed by a dinner at Palácio da Ajuda.

On Thursday, the Irish president will visit the headquarters of the European Maritime Safety Agency in Lisbon, followed by a “business lunch” and a meeting with the President of Portuguese Parliament, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues.

The following day will see the 74-year-old politician travelling to Porto, with a planned stop at the town hall, a lunch with mayor Rui Moreira and a visit to an “innovation centre”.

The programme for his last day in Portugal has yet to be publicised.

Ireland and Portugal were among several countries that borrowed billions of euros in bailout programmes in 2010 and 2011. Ireland exited its bailout in 2013, with Portugal doing the same a year later.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com