The Elephant's Journey, By José Saramago (trs Margaret Jull Costa)

A gift that has kept on giving

Daniel Howden: Too little too late: the family dynasties who have failed Greece's youth

Greece's political elite is a pond that refuses to be flushed. Two clans have dominated the scene since the fall of the dictatorship: the Papandreou and Karamanlis families and their socialist and conservative tribes who have played out largely fake wars while pursuing similar policies.

Portuguese voters braced for austerity measures as Socialists admit defeat

Portugal's centre-right Social Democrats (PSD) won yesterday's general election, booting out Prime Minister Jose Socrates' Socialists after they sought a €78bn (£70bn) bailout that will bring deep austerity.

Portugal votes for new government under bailout shadow

The Portuguese went to the polls on Sunday to elect a government which will lead the nation through a period of deep austerity and recession after it received a €78-billion bailout from the European Union and IMF.

Officials revise debt figure again

Portugal has for a second time revised upward the debt-stressed country's budget deficit last year, releasing official figures that said it was 9.1 per cent of gross domestic product instead of the previously announced 8.6 per cent.

Eu bail-out crisis talks called

European finance ministers are gathering for an emergency meeting on the Portuguese debt crisis, amid fears that British taxpayers may have to find more than £4 billion as part of a rescue package.

Rating cut triggers fresh spike in Portugal's borrowing costs

Another cut in Portugal's credit rating has sent the yields on the country's bonds to their highest level since the euro's launch last night.

Portugal and Ireland fail to restore confidence

Portugal and Ireland were yesterday apparently locked in an unedifying and reluctant race towards bankruptcy, with renewed market pressures on both troubled economies building. The only good news to be extracted for the eurozone is that markets seem willing to allow Spain the benefit of the doubt; the usual Iberian contagion effect appears to have been contained, at least for now.

It's... Monty Python's flying opera house

Writing a libretto for a telephone, a remote control and two parking meters was a hoot – until I realised that I actually had to direct the opera, writes ex-Python Terry Jones

How hostels got hip

Lowcost used to mean low comfort. But now even the cheapest rooms can be seriously chic – and you don’t have to be a backpacker to see the attraction. Lucy Gillmore checks in

Captain Vitor Alves: Soldier who played a crucial role in Portugal's 'Carnation Revolution'

Captain Vítor Alves was one of the key figures of the April 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal, which brought an end to the longest-standing authoritarian regime of 20th-century Western Europe, and which – after several turbulent years – saw a fully fledged democracy emerge.

Casino jackpot that has a family at odds

The 'King of Macau' is ceding control of his vast gambling empire – so who will replace him? Clifford Coonan on a dynastic battle

Relief as Lisbon's bonds attract strong demand

Europe avoided an escalation in its sovereign debt woes last night after the year's first bond sale by one of the Continent's most indebted economies was judged a success.

Leading article: Europe's leaders have got their prescriptions wrong

The fact is that investors are now behaving out of fear rather than greed
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Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
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In this photo illustration a school student eats a hamburger as part of his lunch which was brought from a fast food shop near his school, on October 5, 2005 in London, England. The British government has announced plans to remove junk food from school lunches. From September 2006, food that is high in fat, sugar or salt will be banned from meals and removed from vending machines in schools across England. The move comes in response to a campaign by celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver to improve school meals.
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England captain Wayne Rooney during training
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Red or dead: An actor portrays Hungarian countess Elizabeth Báthory, rumoured to have bathed in blood to keep youthful
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