Former ‘Public Enemy No.1’ returns to Portuguese politics

Jorge Moreira da Silva, the former PSD environment minister dubbed ‘Public Enemy No 1’ by Ria Formosa islanders battling (successfully) to save their homes is making a comeback to national politics. Quitting his job as director general at the OECD (a position he has held since 2016), he is said to be gunning for the ‘top job’ as leader of the PSD, and ready, says Expresso, for six weeks “with his foot on the accelerator”, trying to convince party members that choosing him to replace outgoing Rui Rio is the answer. Enough time has passed for lots of people to have forgotten that it was Jorge Moreira da Silva who signed off on a slew of gas and oil exploration licences in Portugal, just before the fall of the last PSD government. These licenses mobilised hitherto unseen civic and local authority opposition, ending up with PS Socialists dropping plans for fossil fuel production altogether.