Dia de Portugal 2016.JPG

President Marcelo uses Portugal Day to criticise elites as world’s ‘most powerful’ sit down to Bilderberg

Using Portugal Day celebrations to criticise “elites who have failed the people”, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was in customary top gear yesterday, addressing crowds in Lisbon in the morning before flying off to Paris to spend the rest of the national holiday with Portuguese emigrés.

But while national media concentrated on the pomp and circumstance of “Dia de Portugal” (also the Day of the Portuguese Communities and Camões Day), in Dresden former finance minister Maria Luís Albuquerque, and the CEO of Galp Carlos Gomes, were sitting round the table with the “richest and most powerful business executives, bankers, media heads and politicians” at one of the most heavily-guarded meetings on the planet.

According to some outsiders, it is the outcome of discussions at the annual Bilderberg meeting that “shape the world in a way that maximizes profits for all involved while perpetuating a status quo that has been highly beneficial for a select few”.

Mainstream media stops short this description, but accepts that “people who attend the events do not, as a rule, talk about the specifics of what was discussed. This includes politicians whose job it is to represent their constituents” (The UK’s Independent, 2015).

Diário de Notícias describes this year’s meeting as reuniting Albuquerque with her “friend” German finance minister Wolfgang Schauble (a well-known face at Bilderberg meetings), as well as former European Commissioner and one-time leader of the PSD party Durão Barroso.

Kept otherwise-engaged celebrating Portugal’s special day, President Marcelo could only allude to the significance of what has always gone on behind the scenes.

Talking to assembled crowds in the company of the nation’s military at Lisbon’s Terreiro do Paço, he said that it has “always been the people, struggling for Portugal. Even when some elites – or at least those that consider themselves to be – fail us in return for advantageous perks, pompous titles, glittering prizes, deluded self-contemplation, or simply because they are afraid of looking at reality and deciding with vision and without bias”.

It was an extraordinary eight-minute speech, which “did not specify” which elites he was talking about, said TVI24, but which “alluded to a recent period in the history of this country”.

The coincidence of former deputy prime minister Paulo Portas’ recent ‘job hop’ to engineering company Mota Engil (click here) is still a popular topic in the national media, with former presidential candidate Paulo Morais dedicating a leader article to what he terms “the temporary power of politicians”.

According to Morais, the real power in this country is wielded by people like António Mota who, he claims, has “all the important politicians eating from his hand”.

While President Marcelo left Portugal mid- national holiday to fly to what he calls “the country’s second capital”, national tabloid Correio da Manhã was devoting a centre-page spread on the decision by Portas in 2013 to ‘waive all claim to the treasure ship found in the Namibian desert’(click here).

In the thick of the nation’s austerity years, the centre-right government showed no desire to stake its valid claim on a find worth anything between €70 million to €100 million, the paper explains.

But back to Bilderberg, and the fact that little has been made of Maria Luís Albuquerque’s invitation this year.

Says DN, the former finance minister and woman tipped to become the next leader of the PSD party “refuses to consider it strange that a meeting to which elected politicians are invited does not have scrutiny”.

Albuquerque’s reasoning is that “no measures are taken that have public impact”.

Finally, another quirk of yesterday’s prestigious national holiday was that former PSD prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho took to Youtube to present a message that effectively said: “I hope we get back into power soon”.

Talking over four minutes on Portugal’s achievements, he said: “I hope the political situation in our country will have a different outcome to that which we are capable of believing today. We hope very much there can exist a political solution that values the efforts we made and can show Portugal for its best”.

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