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Saramago, José

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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Blog O Caderno de Saramago - Portugal | 16/06/2009

José Saramago on Netanyahu's speech on the Middle East conflict

Portuguese Nobel laureate in literature José Saramago writes in his blog "Caderno de Saramago” about the chances of peace in the Middle East. In his opinion the Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are the main obstacle to peace in the region: "The West Bank, in theory the land of the Palestinians, is covered with settlements. The whole world knows this. Some of them are 'legal' (or in other words approved and constructed by the government in Tel Aviv) while others are 'illegal' (those where the government has turned a blind eye). In total there are over 200 settlements … that today constitute the main obstacle on the path to peace. … Israel's former president Ehud Olmert seemed to be aware of this. In an interview with Haaretz newspaper in November 1907 (sic!) he said that 'it would mean the end of the Jewish state' if a two-state solution couldn't be agreed on soon. He did nothing to resolve the situation. But people took note of his words. They help us to realise that the settlers have always been the sword of Damocles hanging over the Israeli governments, and now … over Netanyahu's head. … So far Israel hasn't had the kind of government it takes to achieve peace."

Blog O Caderno de Saramago - Portugal | 22/10/2008

Baltasar Garzón and the door to truth

The Portuguese writer and Nobel Prize winner José Saramago has produced a blog supporting Spanish examining magistrate Baltasar Garzón's plans to reopen the investigation of crimes committed during the Spanish Civil War and under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco that followed: "Garzón is the examining magistrate who has done the most to please those who still believe in justice. ... In response to complaints that he received he has intervened in a matter that is larger than himself and larger than all judicial institutions: ... He knows that he may [eventually] have to give up, but now all the doors to truth stand open. ... Garzón has helped to make this happen. Never before have the victims of the civil war been so happy. ... For Garzón all human concerns are his own. He is intervening in matters that he describes as criminal because he has the legal power to do so."

El País - Spain | 24/04/2008

José Saramago keeps a critical eye on Portugal

In December 2007 the health of 85-year-old Portuguese writer and Nobel literature laureate, Jose Saramago, took a critical turn for the worse. He now feels much better and attended in Lisbon the opening of an exhibition devoted to him on April 23rd. In an interview with Juan Cruz he emphasises the ties which bind him to his country. "I am very critical about Portugal's social and political situation. I believe that people's morale is very low, as if they had given up on the future. We are far too sheep-like. But it is my country. A few years ago I was asked what kind of relationship I had with my country. I answered: 'Iike what this country has made me.' It is not the most beautiful, or the cleverest, or the most inventive country, but it is my country. ... Basically, the question is very simple: I can criticise Portugal and, at the same time, wonder who I would be if I hadn't been born here."

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | 15/07/2007

Portugal is destined to join Spain, says José Saramago

"Don't look on me as a prophet, but I am convinced that Portugal will end up as part of Spain", confides Portugese writer José Saramago, winner of the Nobel Prize for litterature in 1988, during an interview conducted by João Céu e Silva. "Catalonia has its own culture, which like the rest of Spain, follows the example of what happens to the Basques or in Galicia; We will not become Spanish. When we look at the Iberian peninsula, what do we see? We see a whole that is not composed of little pieces, but which is instead made up of nationalities, and in some cases, different languages, who live more or less in peace. If we were integrated, what would happen? We wouldn't stop speaking Portugese, nor stop writing in our language, and with ten million people, we would certainly have everything to gain from the territorial, administrative and structural connections."

Le Monde - France | 24/11/2006

José Saramago questions democracy

In his work 'Essay on Lucidity', the Portuguese writer José Saramago ponders how the democratic system works. He responds in an interview with Christine Rousseau, to those who accuse him of wanting to destroy the system by pointing out its weaknesses or incoherencies. "We are living at a time where we can discuss everything, but where there is one subject that cannot be discussed, which is democracy itself. It really is extraordinary that we do not stop to question what democracy is, what it is for, and who it is for. It is like the holy virgin, no one dares touch it. We get the feeling that it is a given. A thorough, international debate should however be launched on the subject. Then, surely, we will reach the conclusion that we are not living in a democracy, that democracy is only a facade."

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