photo from Diário de Notícias showing Mário Soares at a.JPG

Mário Soares “back in intensive care” in critical condition

Former Portuguese president Mário Soares is back in intensive care at Lisbon’s Hospital da Cruz Vermelha after a recent bout of bad health appeared to have been reversed.

A spokesman for the hospital told reporters on Christmas Eve that the 92-year-old founder of Portugal’s PS Socialist party suffered a serious sudden attack mid-morning, and is now in a critical condition, with reserved prognosis.

The spokesman declined to be drawn on the nature of the sudden attack, saying it was a matter only for the former president and his family.

A further news bulletin was expected at 8pm.

The nonagenarian has been interned at Hospital Cruz Vermelha since December 13, when his condition then was given as critical, but improved enough over the next few days to see him released from intensive care into a private room.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa interrupted his round of official duties shortly after receiving news of his old friend’s condition to pay a 15 minute visit to the hospital. He was seen embracing Soares’ daughter but refused to be drawn on any questions relating to the older man’s condition.

Since then, Soares’ condition has stablised, but remains critical. The former president was described over Christmas as being in a “deep coma”, and non-responsive to any kind of stimuli.

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PHOTO from Diário de Notícias of Mário Soares being supported by President Marcelo and Prime Minister António Costa when he made a rare public appearance earlier this year