The historic visit of Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa is likely to see a packed schedule with back-to-back events aimed likely at rekindling the cultural and filial ties between the colony and its former coloniser.
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Costa who arrived in Goa on Tuesday night has an entire gamut of events, including a walk through Goa’s Latin quarter of Fontainhas and a civic reception hosted in his honour, to attend, besides meeting the Chief Minister and Governor.
Costa, whose father hailed from Margão in Goa and was nicknamed “Babush” within the family, will also be visiting his family home in a private visit, his first as prime minister. On Wednesday, Costa will hold back-to-back meetings with the Chief Minister and the Governor of Goa before heading to a state-hosted lunch.
Costa will inaugurate a new Portuguese Language Centre in Panaji before walking to Instituto Menezes Bragança to view the azulejos panels depicting scenes from “Os Lusíadas” an epic poem by Luís Vaz de Camões located at the entrance.
The City of Goa, once the capital of the Portuguese’ vast maritime empire in the east and trading post has been decked up for the visit with banners depicting the Indian and Portuguese flag colours dressing up the streets.
Later Costa will also be treated to a civic reception by Goan civil society where two books by his father Orlando Costa in their translated
versions will be handed over to him.
The following day, Costa will spend a day with his relatives in Margão a private event while also paying a visit to the Churches of Old Goa and the temples of Ponda at Mangueshi and other places.
Costa also has programmes at the V M Salgaocar college of Law as well as other institutes including the National Institute of Oceanography.
It is perhaps for the first time since the visit of the recently deceased former Portuguese President Mario Soares, has such public bonhomie between the former