PORTUGAL: The Socialists Perform Their Encore

Question: Why is the government like a turkey?

Answer: Because it can't possibly get through Christmas.

That oft-told Lisbon wheeze reflected widespread doubts about how long the government of Socialist Premier Mario Scares could stay in office. Last week, though, the Socialists—like Mark Twain—could claim that reports of their demise had been greatly exaggerated. In crucial balloting for 45,000 local officials and mayoralties, the Socialists confounded their political opponents and, in spite of a divisive intraparty fight, won what amounted to a qualified vote of confidence for Scares.

Dangerous Polarity. The Socialists...

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