Portuguese President Visits Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb

By , 19 May 2017, 13:56 PM Politics

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The President of Portugal, Dr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, visited the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb earlier today, May 19.
After attending the exhibition on Portuguese painted tiles, azulejos, (that we wrote about here) at the Museum of Arts and Crafts yesterday, the President attended an event organised by the Department of Portuguese Language and Literature, one of the newest programme studies at the Faculty. With approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers, Portuguese is the sixth most natively spoken language in the world and the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers.
Portuguese has been taught as part of the Romance Language Department since 1942, and a separate sub-faculty was founded in 1978, but it became operational in 1981. It functioned as a two-year study programme until 1998, from 1998 until 2005 it was a three-year supplementary study and in 2005 it became a regular part of the study programme, with a three-year Bachelor programme and a two-year Master Programme. Around 30 new students start the programme each year.
The President was very relaxed and talkative and thanked University Rector Damir Boras and Faculty Dean Željko Holjevac for being there, as well as Head of Department Dr. Sc. Nina Lanović and other professors, and thanked the students for choosing to study Portuguese, commenting how he was glad that the majority of people in attendance were women because the future is female. He added jokingly that now that the students speak the language they can finally interview Cristiano Ronaldo, José Mourinho, or, if they are more romantic, Salvador Sobral, Eurovision winner. He added that the entire nation was thrilled when Sobral won because it is normally only their neighbours, Spain, who give them some points at the contest, and that it was an unbelievable day for everyone in Portugal: sports lovers were thrilled because Benfica won the Cup, religious people were happy because the Pope visited Fátima, and music lovers couldn't believe it when Portugal won Eurovision. He joked that they have to try and not let it go to their heads because people have started believing they are invincible and can do anything.

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He was very informal and wanted to hear questions from the students. He said that this was his first time visiting Croatia and that he wanted to come here sooner, but it was complicated due to security and protocol. He said that he loves how Zagreb has a lot of history and that, while he was walking around, he noticed that there were many young people sitting outside having fun, adding that, unlike in Portugal, most of them drink, and in Portugal everyone likes to enjoy a good meal out as well.
One of the students asked if the President could give her some tips on what she should visit when she goes to Portugal in the summer, and he invited her to leave her contact details so that she could join him for breakfast (and his assistant really took her contact details).
He went on to comment how he hoped Croatia and Portugal, even though the relations between the countries are great, would develop even closer ties in the future. He joked that the students will have an upper hand because no one in Portugal speaks Croatian, while there are now many people speaking Portuguese in Croatia.

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The President was asked to comment on Brexit and the future of the EU - he replied that, if it were up to him, he would have loved it if the UK hadn't decided to part ways with the EU, but we live in a democratic world and  we now have to handle the situation the best we can.
He concluded that this visit will be an incentive for the academic community to start working on developing more opportunities for Croatian students to visit Portugal because getting to know the country is as important as learning its language.

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  • On the A1 motorway at Brinje tunnel in direction Split traffic is flowing with delays due to a traffic accident. During the day delays can be expected in roadwork areas. Weather conditions are favourable. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče in Brinje and Mala Kapela tunnels in both directions till 10 June; -A2 Zagreb-Macelj between Jankomir and Zaprešić junctions 1st-4th km, between Sveti Križ Začretje and Krapina junctions 38th-41st km in both directions; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac at Kutina-Ilova bridge (106th km), between Kutina and Novska (117th-120th km) in both directions, between Popovača and Križ junctions (79th-78th km) in direction Zagreb; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan - till 9 June traffic is suspended in the entrance lane of Kraljevečki Novaki from direction Sesvete and Dugo Selo towards Ivanja Reka junction, there is a local detour; in the roadwork area traffic is flowing in reduced lanes; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June. Till 9 June between 9am and 10am, 8pm and 9pm traffic is occasionally suspended for about 15 minutes on Rijeka detour road at Rujevica junction in both directions. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC47 Lipik-Novska state road at Jagma 7am-7pm. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road in Knin until 14 July; -on the DC1 state road at Klinča Sela, Tušilović and Mostanje; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC62 Veliki Prolog-Metković state road at Most Metković.
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