Politics

When Barroso was a communist

Article published on Oct. 5, 2007
From the magazine
Article published on Oct. 5, 2007
Watch the video of the current president of the European Commission when he was a student leader in 1975

Lisbon. A short while after 25 April 1975, the Carnation revolution that freed Portugal from the strangleholds of the Salazar regime. A 19 year old law student at the University of Lisbon, called Manuel Durão Barroso, is interviewed as leader of the Federation of the Marxist-Leninist Students. He opposes community service as a 'measure that mirrors the crisis of a bourgeois education system.' With a post-revolution university system in disarray, the new democratic government decided that the 28, 000 people who finished secondary school that year had to do community service instead of starting university directly.

Barroso has been president of the European Commission since 2004, and served as right-wing Portuguese prime minister from 2002 to 2004.

An English translation of Barroso's sometimes incomprehensive words of wisdom:

'The proposal approved in the plenary today (against community service) by first year university candidates and presented by its 'fighting intercommissions', a group that intends to put the fight forward, is entirely correct. It tends to the immediate application and demands to the governmental authorities its legalisation. We need to regard this issue of fight against community service. We want the Ministry of Education and scientific research, lets call it like that, to approve this measure. Community service is nothing but a measure that mirrors the crisis of a bourgeois education system. That is totally incorrect, anti-worker and anti-popular, and pushes students against workers and workers against students.'

Seems our president's rhetorics have progressed a lot...