Portugal officials find dictator wine hard to swallow

29th November 2012, Comments 0 comments

A Portuguese mayor hoping his town could cash in on its historic ties to former dictator Antonio Salazar has lost a bid to have a wine called "Salazar's Memories" registered as a trademark.

Portuguese media say the national intellectual property authority went sour on the idea, finding the proposed name at odds with modern values.

"Salazar is mostly thought of as a dictator... and in today's democracy the registering of this brand would undoubtedly violate the founding principles that guide our justice system," the trademark office was quoted as saying in the Publico newspaper.

Joao Lourenco, the mayor of the town of Santa Comba Dao, near where Salazar was born in 1889, called the decision "ridiculous".

He said Salazar, who ruled with an iron fist for nearly four decades, had long been associated with the region.

The mayor said he had "neither love nor hate" for the man, and his attempt to make the dictator-themed wine was about trying to boost jobs in a country mired in economic crisis.

"Salazar is a strong name that everyone associates with Santa Comba Dao. If we can use that to create jobs and energise our towns, why not?" he told local media.

Lourenco has since last spring been trying to develop a line of Salazar-themed wines and local products.

The mayor said he would not give up, and would try variations on the name, including "Salazar's Hills" and "Salazar's Vines".

Salazar died in 1970.

© 2012 AFP

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