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46 CES Open Forum Series

The Pandemic of 2020-21 in Portugal: Did the Politics of Geringonça Help with the National Response?

Sep 14, 2021 Paul Christopher Manuel


Portuguese democracy faced a significant national crisis in 2020–2021. The COVID-19 pandemic placed new and unforeseen stresses on the political system, as the national leadership attempted to balance the rights and freedoms of their citizens with the required and sometimes draconian public health measures required to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including the first declaration of a national emergency in 45 years. This paper briefly examines the political background of the national response to the pandemic of 2020–2021 and asks if the political lessons of the geringonça experience from 2015 to 2019 helped to facilitate policy consensus and cooperation among opposing ideological views during the crisis.