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25th April - 40 Years SI

25th April - 40 Years

The military coup of 25th of April of 1974 in Portugal unexpectedly opened the way to the third wave of democratisation processes in Southern Europe, which would extend to Greece in 1975 and Spain in 1977. In the following decade, the end of the Cold War would trigger a similar process in Latin America and in Central and Eastern Europe. At a time of no major pro democratising international constraints and still in the midst of the cold war, the political rupture brought about by the Portuguese military gave rise to a simultaneous process of democratisation and decolonisation of the last lingering European colonial empire. The singularity of the Portuguese case was precisely the democratising intervention of the movement of the captains, rare if not unique in the XX century. In contrast to Spain, Portugal experienced a transition through collapse and Greece through rupture; however the Portuguese democratisation was accompanied by a strong crisis of the State.

The nature of rupture of the transition, but above all the crisis of the State which it triggered, marked the most complex characteristics of the transition and some dimensions of attitudes regarding the dictatorial past, during this period. Both converged in a double legacy to democratic consolidation, from 1976 onwards. Portugal, as occurred in Greece and Spain, progressively consolidated its democracy, fully integrated in the European Union in the 1980’s. The European Community, as a reference of a developed Europe, played a very important role in democratic consolidation in Portugal, Greece and Spain, not only in the economic field but also in the political sphere.


The decolonisation, consolidation of democracy, European Union membership and social change of the last decades of the twentieth century have since swept away many of the legacies which presided over the singularity of Portugal’s democratic transition, and the 25th of April of 1974 is still seen by Portuguese society as the strongest positive symbol of its contemporary history.

Technical Details

Issue Date: 14.04.2014
Designer: Atelier B2
Printer: INCM
Process: Offset
Colours: 4 Colours
Size: 40 x 30.6 mm
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