Durão Barroso

You gentlemen left Portugal on a loincloth!

A month after the parliamentary elections of 2002, Prime Minister Durão Barroso and the leader of the Opposition, Ferro Rodrigues, were the protagonists of one of the most peculiar and mediated parliamentary debates.

On the 17th of April, the emergency programme was presented and discussed in the Parliament. After Durão Barroso’s speech, Ferro Rodrigues criticised the document and reiterated the position of the Socialist Party regarding the budget execution in the first trimester of the year.

Barroso was peremptory: “You gentlemen left Portugal on a loincloth!” said the Prime Minister, blaming the previous government for the State’s public finances. Ferro Rodrigues replied, on behalf of his bench, considering that the leader of the Social Democratic Party “uses language that is not proper for a prime minister.”

Controversies aside, the expression stayed in the collective memory of the Portuguese people and is still used to refer to the periods of crisis and economic difficulties that the country has been going through.