Communicating is a hallmark of your presidency. The President of the Republic speaks to the country daily, sometimes more than once between speeches and responses to journalists. From the Palace of Belém, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made 30 statements to the country in addition to the one made this Thursday, 15 of them related to the state of emergency due to the pandemic. In addition to the New Year’s messages, the president made statements on the death of former presidents, after the tragedies of the fires in 2017, the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the dissolution of Parliament announced on November 4, 2021.
January 1, 2023: Notice to the Government
This is a “decisive” year, warned the president in the traditional New Year’s message. After the early elections, the president warned that if the country did not have a year of political stability, it could “irreversibly” jeopardize the commitments for the decade.
“Only the Government and its majority can weaken or deflate” political stability, he defended without referring to the eleven dismissals of the Executive during the first nine months of his term. The president pointed out the flaws that until then compromised the core political stability: “errors of arrogance”, lack of coordination, internal fragmentation, inaction, lack of transparency and “detachment from reality”.
October 23, 2022: Death of Adriano Moreira
Marcelo had already decorated Adriano Moreira for his 100th birthday and on the day of his death he made a statement to the country, just like on the days when Jorge Sampaio (September 10, 2021) and Mário Soares (January 7, 2017) died. He thanked the three for their life dedicated to the defense of democracy and freedom.
February 24, 2022: War in Ukraine
The president made a statement on the day Russia invaded Ukraine, February 24, 2022. He “strongly” condemned the violation of international law and expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
January 29, 2022: Eve of legislatives
On the eve of the legislative elections, on the 29th of January, the president made a statement to the country, not only calling for votes but especially underlining the importance and difference of these elections: the first marked in democracy following a failure in the State Budget . Marcelo stressed the “urgency of economic and social reconstruction” after the pandemic. “Recovering the economy and mitigating inequalities without profound changes is the same as drenching millions of sands in a desert,” he said.
January 1, 2022: Turning Year
“This 2022 really has to be a new year, new life. In a world with less pandemic and more growth, less poverty and commitment to the climate, less selfishness and more attention to the immediate cost of life”, added Marcelo, not failing to appeal to vote in the legislative advances to January 30.
4 November 2021: Dissolution of Parliament
Since the delivery of the bill by the Government, the president has made several warnings to the Opposition and Executive that if the Budget fails, he will call early elections. And so he did. Not only because of the disapproval of the law, but because it was “a decisive moment” for the exit from the pandemic and consequent economic and social crises. “It was an especially important budget at an especially important time,” he said. The dissolution of Parliament and anticipation of legislative elections was announced “without dramatization” because this presidential power is part of democratic life.
“We all dispensed with another election a few months after another, but it is the path we have ahead of us to reinforce certainty, security and stability. The only path that allows the Portuguese to meet again with their representatives and decide what they want to the coming years”, defended Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
September 25, 2021: Municipalities
On the eve of the municipal elections, the president made a statement to the country for being the first elections “marked by three crises” simultaneously: pandemic, economy and society.
August 5, 2021: Olympic medals
The president made a statement to the country praising the winning of medals at the Tokyo Olympics by athletes Pedro Pichardo, Patrícia Mamona, Jorge Fonseca and Fernando Pimenta.
April 27, 2021: End of the State of Emergency
After more than five months after declaring the second state of emergency, the president made a statement to the country to announce its end after hearing specialists, parties and the Government. “We are not yet in a danger-free era, free of covid and we face threats,” he warned. The second state of emergency was announced on November 6, 2020, justified in the declaration by the need for prevention to stop the pandemic and the growing number of infected people, hospitalizations and deaths that had been growing for weeks. This second state of emergency was renewed 11 times and the president almost always made statements.
January 1, 2021: Tradition Interrupted
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa did not make the traditional New Year’s message for being a presidential candidate. The year before, the president innovated by making a live statement, at lunchtime, from the island of Corvo, in the Azores. Marcelo no longer runs away from tradition in terms of taking advantage of these messages to make announcements. In the first, in 2017, he called for more economic growth and in 2018 he lamented that it had been “insufficient”. Already in 2019, he warned against demagoguery and populism and called for voting in the three elections that year.
March 18, 2020: Pandemic
About two weeks after the first death in the country by covid-19, the president announces the first State of Emergency. “An exceptional decision, in an exceptional time”. In that statement, Marcelo prepares the country for the time the pandemic may last and for the challenges it will pose to the National Health Service and the economy.
October 17, 2017: Fireworks
The statement after the fires in the central region was made by Oliveira do Hospital. The president had already made a statement to the country after the fire in Pedrógão Grande, on June 18, in which three days of national mourning were declared. “Our pain at this moment has no measure”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, guaranteeing that the two tragedies, which caused 114 deaths, would never be erased from his memory.