Tag: politics

As Greece goes to the polls, the election campaign in Portugal hots up

PORTUGAL LIsbon -- 04 Jan 2013 -- Supporters of the CGTP trade union march through Chiado to protest at government austerity measures on the day that Portugal's socialist party -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — 04 Jan 2013 — Supporters of the CGTP trade union march through Chiado in central Lisbon to protest at government austerity measures. Many voters do not like the government’s austerity program — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

by Jonathan Mitchell

LISBON — 20 September, 2015 — As Greeks head of the polls today to vote on whether to continue supporting Syriza, Portugal’s general election campaign is heating up with opinion polls published in the Expresso newspaper giving the Socialist Party – the mainstream left party – a slight lead 1.5% over the PSD and CDS/PP coalition.

Many here are weary of the government austerity program – which has consisted of a lot of cuts to services like health and one of the largest tax hikes in Portuguese history. The Socialist Party is campaigning on an anti-austerity platform – with the shadow of the former leader Jose Socrates (who is currently in prison under corruption charges) hanging over the campaign.

According to the polls published in the Expresso today, some 46.7% of Portuguese believe that Antonio Costa (the leader of the Socialist Party) will be the next prime minister to govern Portugal, against 39.8% who think that Pedro Passos Coelho will retain power.

“Now’s the time to turn the page on austerity,” Costa said. “Our goal is to ease the tax burden.” This may have some resonance with some voters hit hard by the tax regime, analysts say. Some four out of five Portuguese people say they have problems making their income stretch through any given month.

PORTUGAL Lisbon -- 16 Feb 2013 -- Tens of thousands of people are protesting across Portugal against government austerity measures. Pictured here a union leader addresses the crowd in front of the Bank of Portugal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PORTUGAL Lisbon — 16 Feb 2013 — Tens of thousands of people are protesting across Portugal against government austerity measures. Pictured here are protestors listening to union leader addresses the crowd in central Lisbon — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Some analysts say that the ruling coalition may nevertheless get voted back into power, pointing to factors like mass migration and recent economic statistics – which appear to show that the economy is finally growing again after several years of stagnation.

Antonio Garcia Pascual, the Barclays Bank chief economist for Europe, recently told the Financial Times that he sees the elections as a “close call” between the centre-right government coalition and the opposition centre-left Socialists, with the polls seemingly backing him up.

“If we stay on the path we’ve been following, we won’t need any more bailouts,” Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho stated during a live radio debate last week. Much of the campaign has been relatively dull and Passos Coelho’s campaign largely is based on him being seen to be a safe pair of hands in a difficult time.

The Socialists disagree and say they will lower taxes to stimulate the economy, while adding that training programs and mass migration to countries like the UK, Angola, Mozambique, Brazil and even Guinea Bissau give a distorted picture.

Portugal has some 9.7 million eligible voters – who will elect lawmakers to a four-year term in the 230-seat Parliament in Lisbon on the 4th October, 2015. Many Eurozone watchers will be looking carefully at the result. -ends- approx 500 words

Jonathan Mitchell is based in Lisbon, Portugal and is available for commissions to cover the upcoming polls. If you are looking for stock images, you can find them at Photoshot.com – along with many other news archive pictures from Portugal (and also Live News).

All images and text © 2015 Jonathan Mitchell

New 1990s reportage photojournalism stock images

UK London -- 31 Mar 1990 -- Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK London — 31 Mar 1990 — Metropolitan Police riot police in the West End of London England UK during the Poll Tax Riot. The huge march against the Poll Tax later developed into one of the largest riots in the history of central London — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was quite active as a news agency photographer in the 1990s (for SIPA Press and Gamma and sometimes for AP, AFP and Reuters on a freelance basis) and recently found some time in 2014 to scan a lot of my old 35mm slides and negatives.

UK Over the English Channel -- Dec 1993 -- The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
UK Over the English Channel — Dec 1993 — The Sea Air Rescue (SAR) crew of a Sea King Helicopter from the 202nd Squadron of the Royal Air Force on an exercise with Kent Fire Brigade simulating reacting to a ferry fire over the the English Channel off the coast of Kent, England, UK — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I am currently editing some of this material into my archive and will be editing more in over 2015. My collection on 35mm is very diverse and covers Panama, Colombia and some other parts of central America from 1994-1998, Britain and Spain from 2000-2014, plus many great film images from the Everest Himalaya of Nepal (and also the 2006 revolution).

PANAMA Meteti -- Jul 1997 -- Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia -- Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Meteti — Jul 1997 — Panamanian frontier police in line at a police base. Some 2000 paramilitary police were drafted into to the Darien Gap after cross-border attacks on the region by Colombian paramilitary units. The area has long been a haven for Colombian FARC rebels. The Darien Gap is home to three indigenous groups who are sometimes affected by the civil war in Colombia — Picture © Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

I was based in Panama for four years and have quite a good collection on the pre-handover Panama Canal (including aerials) and of Colombia’s civil war spreading into the Darien Gap of Panama.

PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks -- 1995 -- Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
PANAMA Pedro Miguel Locks — 1995 — Aerial view of two cargo ships as they transit the Pedro Miguel locks of the Panama Canal — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

Back at home, I have many pagan-type festivals and a fairly good stock on British politics, youth culture and Britain itself in the early part of the 1990s and Britain from 1998-2014. Several of these have also been edited into my collection of late.

SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg -- 1991 -- FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference - the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party - largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive
SOUTH AFRICA Johannesburg — 1991 — FW DeClerke at a press conference during the CODESA conference – the first time the Apartheid government met with ANC officials and other political parties. DeClerke was of the National Party – largely made up of Afrikans and was instrumental in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa and ending whites only rule — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

All these images were scanned at 3600dpi on a Reflecta scanner (similar in quality to a Nikon Coolscan 4000) and are unsharpened as to allow for the full print quality that film can convey.

Riot police lathi charge protesters in Patan Kathmandu Nepal during the 2006 revolution

Kathmandu Spring
Nepalese riot police lathi charge protesters in Patan Kathmandu Nepal during the Kathmandu Spring. April, 2006 – Picture by Jonathan Mitchell/Atlas Photo Archive

It was some year…Shortly after arriving back from photographing climate change in the Everest region, I found myself documenting the early stages of the Kathmandu Spring or anti-monarchy revolution in Kathmandu. By January, sporadic protests had become full-scale riots, which reached a crescendo in April of that year.

I shot this image of the Nepalese Armed Police Force lathi (a bamboo baton used by police in south Asia) charge on some protesters who rained stones down upon them. At the time, I was one of the few photojournalists covering the revolution with a film camera and I shot this on a Voigtlander Bessa T with a 25mm f4 Voigtlander lens.

It is one of my favourite images of the revolution and I think it wonderfully captures the drama and action. Sadly, very few of these images were published, as it took me weeks to get the money to get the edited frames scanned and by the time I sent them to Hollandse Hoogte, the story was old news! Should you find any use for it, this image can be licensed if you contact me.

I now have a gallery of these images on my new database, which can be viewed here.

Union Jack and St Andrew’s flags make a great generic illustration for Scottish independence stories

UK SCOTLAND Edinburgh -- 17 Sep 2013 -- Flying the flags...The flags of Great Britain - the Union Jack (right) and the national flag of Scotland - which is the flag of St Andrew (left) on top of the Lloyd's Bank PLC headquarters (formerly the HQ of the Royal Bank of Scotland) in Edinburgh Scotland UK. Scotland is due to vote on an independence referendum in one year's time. File image dated 11 April 2011 -- Picture by Jonathan Mitchell | Lightroom Photos
UK SCOTLAND Edinburgh — 17 Sep 2013 — Flying the flags…The flags of Great Britain – the Union Jack (right) and the national flag of Scotland – which is the flag of St Andrew (left) on top of the Lloyd’s Bank PLC headquarters (formerly the HQ of the Royal Bank of Scotland) in Edinburgh Scotland UK. Scotland is due to vote on an independence referendum in one year’s time. File image dated 11 April 2011 — Picture by Jonathan Mitchell | alamy.com

It is an emotive issue for many north and south of the border…That of the Scottish Independence Referendum due in 2014. With less than a year to go, the debate on this issue is hotter than ever. I shot the image above in the summer of 2011 to illustrate the issue and so far, it has been used on four occasions in The Times. It is one of the better images like this available and you can license it direct from me by emailing lightroomphotos@icloud.com or from alamy.com.