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3/29/00 - File # 15292
Contact: Janet Gilmore
(510) 642-3734


Presentation of The Berkeley Medal to Mário Soares, president of Portugal from 1986-1996 and current member of the European Parliament.

The Berkeley Medal, established in 1981, is an honor bestowed by the University of California, Berkeley, on individuals of exceptionally distinguished achievements whose work or contributions to society illustrate the ideals of the university and further its goals. Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl will present the medal to Soares, who will address the audience on Portugal, the European Union and democracy.

WHEN: 4 p.m., Tuesday, April 4.  
WHERE: The Lipman Room, 8th floor, Barrows Hall, UC Berkeley.  

Soares is considered the father of the Portuguese democratic republic. He played a key role in Portugal's transition from the authoritarian regime of António de Salazar (1932 - 1974) to a democracy. Soares's activism against dictatorship began in his youth and continued through his work as a defense lawyer representing political prisoners and as an adult activist once forced into exile.

Following the Revolution of April 1974, Soares was foreign minister and, later, prime minister. In these tense years, he was instrumental in preventing the establishment of a left wing military regime and in achieving the ratification of a democratic constitution. In 1986, he became the first civilian to be elected directly by the people as President of Portugal. He was reelected with an overwhelming majority in 1991, completing his term in 1996. He is currently a member of Portugal's Council of State and, in 1999, was elected member of the European Parliament.


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