Two presidents condemn paint attack

Paint attack on PSD leader

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said yesterday that paint attacks have lost their effectiveness, stressing that the climate fight “is good” and that demonstration is a right that belongs to everyone in a democracy.

He was speaking to journalists during his visit to the Lisbon Tourism Exchange (BTL), where, just hours before, the president of the Social Democratic party (PSD), Luís Montenegro, was covered with green paint thrown by a climate activist whilst he campaigned at the exhibition.

The President explained “The idea is a good idea, which is the climate and which we all share. It’s a good appeal, it’s an appeal from young people, now I think that from a certain point onwards it’s a very ineffective form of action”.

This form of action “frankly, has already lost its effectiveness”

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The BTL Exhibition in Lisbon, where the paint attack on the PSD leader took place

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that demonstration is a right that belongs to everyone in a democracy, but considered that action such as a paint attack “frankly, has already lost its effectiveness”, as it is repetitive.

There have been several climate actions in Portugal over recent months, with paint attacks on members of the Government, such as the Minister of the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Minister of Finance, Fernando Medina, among other politicians targeted.

The young man responsible for this paint attack was immediately removed from the exhibition by a police officer, with Luis Montenegro reacting with humour, saying: “I’m prepared for anything”.

The PSD president entered the FIL building, where the event was taking place, and then went to the bathroom to remove the paint, which had hit not only his clothes but also his face and hair – but to no avail.

Montenegro left the venue immediately after, saying “So long, good work everyone,” before getting into his car.

Activists from the End the Fossil movement have since called for action in a statement, arguing that “no party has a plan that is appropriate to the climate reality”.

The student movement calls for an end to fossil fuels by 2030 and demands that we stop using gas to produce electricity by next year, instead using 100% renewable and free electricity.  

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Albuquerque sees paint attack as regrettable

The president of PSD/Madeira, Miguel Albuquerque, yesterday said that he considered the paint attacks by climate activists regrettable, stating that they take away credibility from the movement.

“I find these scenes regrettable […] a bit folkloric, because they make the very movement in defence of ecosystems, the environment, climate change, lose credibility”, considered Miguel Albuquerque when asked about the attack.

He was speaking to journalists after having formalized his candidacy for the presidency of the party’s regional structure, added that these issues “must be discussed from a political and scientific point of view”.

“I think that the best way to face these great challenges that humanity faces is through science, reason, the discussion of ideas and research, it is not through these folkloric manifestations that are, from my point of view, view, they attack people’s dignity and do nothing good for the democratic debate”, he highlighted.

Asked, on the other hand, whether the fact that Luís Montenegro is present in Madeira as part of the electoral campaign for the legislative elections on March 10th is due to the political crisis in the region, Miguel Albuquerque said no.

“No, I don’t think he comes to Madeira because he doesn’t need to come to Madeira and he has a pre-determined political agenda”, he declared.

Difference of opinion between the national leader and the regional leader?

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PSD National leader, Luís Montenegro

The president of PSD/Madeira also considered that the absence of Luís Montenegro in Madeira has nothing to do with a difference of opinion between the national leader and the regional leader.

On Friday, Luís Montenegro said that in Albuquerque’s place “maybe he would have made a different decision”, while the resigning president of the Regional Government, the following day, reacted by saying that “this is his problem” and that he does what he sees fit.

The PSD/Madeira will hold direct elections on March 21, with the deadline for submitting candidacies ending on Thursday at 6:00 pm. So far, only Miguel Albuquerque has formalized his candidacy. He resigned as president of the Regional Government in January, following a process investigating suspicions of corruption in the archipelago, which led to the fall of the executive, now in management.

Paint attack – video:

4 thoughts on “Two presidents condemn paint attack”

  1. It’s absolutely disgusting behaviour and I hope he pays for a new suit..
    Peaceful protests are acceptable, but not something like this. The riot police should have stepped in or called in and the protests immediately disbanned. If they cannot behave in a civil and orderly manner then they should not be allowed to protest at all. What next, next they’ll be throwing rocks instead. Throwing something at someone is a form of violence and should not be tolerated.

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    • Protest is a right and like all rights it carries responsibility. This not disgusting behaviour neither is it a protest, it’s assault. He should have been charged and kept in custody overnight, then brought before the magistrates the next morning, to be found guilty or not. We in the UK are now seeing what happens when the Police Service, which used to be a force, does not enforce the law.

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