Private: Saramago makes up with Portuguese Government

Jose Saramago has ended his long feud with the Portuguese government. After the ministry of culture refused to submit his novel The Gospel According to Jesus Christ for consideration for the 1992 European Literature Prize (because they felt it offended Portuguese Christians), Saramago moved to Spain and “vowed never to carry out official acts in the name of Portugal while the Social Democratics were in office unless they issued a public apology.”

But earlier this month Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso raised a white flag in the dispute, saying in an interview with weekly newspaper Expresso that he condemned acts which in the past “discriminated” the author.

Durao Barroso, who was a secretary of state with the government in 1992 when Saramago’s book was barred, then invited the author to his official residence in Lisbon for lunch on Thursday.

“After the statements which the prime minister made a few weeks ago I consider this matter completely closed,” Saramago told reporters after the lunch.