We joined the government on exactly the same day, we lived there for what our functions justified, we went on seeing each other and talking, over these more than five years. In the beginning, there was even a kind of ceremony between us, although it was always marked by a strong cordiality. It was just 20 years ago that we agreed to leave, also on the very same day, the government. He had then had the dignity to assume, with straightforwardness, the supreme political responsibility of a tragedy that occurred in an area that he protected. The country would forever recognize this gesture of great nobility.
Afterwards, Jorge came to have a very difficult period of health. He was then on the edge of life. He recovered, with immense courage, with Cecília and the strength of the family at his side, which I now emotionally embrace. He went around the wheel of life, returned to it in full. He threw himself, with a business genius that showed that he was his own, to high positions in the private sector. Mota-Engil, with it, opened and expanded around the world. I know well that your great friend António Mota will be, like very few people today, going through a very grieving mourning for Jorge’s disappearance.
Having completely abdicated from active politics, Jorge was still interested in civic life. In television debates, for years, the country appreciated its moderation and its sense of measure. Jorge Coelho was a permanent voice of reasonability, always in the light of the matrix of convictions of solidarity that were his, from a very young age. He thought through his head, he was heard by those who appreciated his balance, he was a citizen and a full-fledged democrat. But Jorge’s image went far beyond that world: ask entrepreneurs, trade unionists and personalities from various sectors what the name of Jorge Coelho aroused them and they will observe a wide positive opinion.But talking about Jorge is also talking about his immense joy, the delicious stories he told, the universe of things he went through, which he always remembered without acrimony, from where he took positive aspects. I have never seen him resentful, wrapped in intrigue, which politics so often calls for. On the contrary, it diluted conflicts and, even in the critical attitude he assumed, he had immense respect for his opponents.
In the last few years, Jorge decided to go back to his origins. Resuming a family tradition, he dedicated himself to his land, Mangualde, where he built a cheese industrial unit that was, today, his great enthusiasm for life. That now has its final point. The country has lost a great citizen. And I lost a friend.
The author writes according to the new orthographic agreement
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