As we explained during our free tour of Porto and during our tour of the Middle Ages, the Portuguese and the Galicians have a lot in common. For example, a specific humour. Otherwise, it is difficult to explain why the airport in Porto is named after a politician who died in a plane crash. Retranca and irony, they say. Let's discover Sá Carneiro.
Porto's airport has been named Sá Carneiro Airport since 1990. 10 years after the death of the politician after whom it was named. This man, named Francisco, was one of the most important political figures in Portuguese history and was from Porto. The son of a wealthy family, he studied law and entered politics during the Estado Novo of dictator Salazar. Although he agreed with his Catholic and national ideas, the open wing of the party was more sustainable for him. In 1973, after Marcelo Caetano refused to democratize the country and Bishop Ferreira Gomes returned from exile, he resigned his seat as a deputy and moved to the opposition.
After the Carnation Revolution, he played an important role in the country's democratic transition. He became a minister without portfolio in the Social Democratic Party, which he himself founded in 1975. This combination of forces led the public to consider him a centrist candidate, very useful in a tense situation in a country that had just emerged from the longest dictatorship in Europe, as we explained during our free tour of Porto.
However, power always breeds enemies. In 1980, three days before the elections, the plane he was travelling in crashed in a Lisbon neighbourhood, killing all the passengers, including the defence minister. The event triggered an avalanche of commentary, and to this day it is not clear whether it was an accident or an assassination. The government conducted 8 commissions of inquiry, 3 of which were inconclusive, 1 concluded it was an accident and 4 concluded it was sabotage.
Don't miss this and other Porto stories and join us on a free city tour to really get to know this most worth seeing city.