Athens, January 7th, 2017
Statement on the passing of Mario Soares
Mario Soares, honorary President of the Socialist International, through his life and accomplishments, gave a real meaning to the words socialist and democrat. Active in politics since his early youth, he fought against Salazar ‘s dictatorship. Following the Carnation Revolution he became the first civilian leader of the Portuguese state.
He played an important role in the accession of Portugal in the European Community, but also wishing to be consistent with his world vision he contributed to the independence of the Portuguese colonies in Africa. Actively supporting peace building in the Middle East and other conflict areas of the world, together with Willy Brandt and Olof Palme he belongs to the emblematic figures, associated with the progressive movement and the Socialist International.
We first met in exile, when my father Andreas and the PAK movement fought against the dictatorship. Since those times, I believe he had a kind spot in his heart for the Greek people.
In the context of our long friendship and collaboration, I was always impressed by his wisdom and his relevant remarks on complex global issues. Let’s hope, that progressive leaders of today will closely study how he managed to put his beliefs into action and be inspired by his ideas.
Mario, we will miss you.