Heart attack? Car accident? The contradictory information of the first moments was somehow the reflection of a totally unexpected farewell to an unavoidable figure in Portuguese politics.
Jorge Coelho suffered a cardiorespiratory arrest while visiting a house in Figueira da Foz. When the firefighters arrived, there was nothing to be done. He was only 66 years old.
Opponents resemble an astute, combative politician. The comrades highlight the dedication to the public cause, the energy, the ability to act, the common sense. “Few were those who managed to express the socialists’ souls so well,” said António Costa, unable to hide his dismay. Friends resemble the loyal, well-formed, well-disposed man.
The Portuguese, in turn, remember the politician who resigned following the fall of the Hintze Ribeiro Bridge, in what remained for history as the tragedy of Entre-os-Rios, causing the death of 59 people. Jorge Coelho, then Minister of Social Equipment, assumed political responsibility, because “guilt cannot die unmarried”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa wrote thus: “Gathering great intuition, combative spirit, political perspicacity, personal affability and sense of humor, among the inevitable pitfalls of support and contradictions, he left in the memory of the Portuguese the singular gesture of assuming, in full, the responsibility for the Entre-os-Rios Tragedy and the rare ability to anticipate the feeling of ordinary people “.
Mangualde remembers the son of the land who returned to invest in the Vale da Estrela cheese factory. It was in this context that in 2018 he spoke with SAPO24, in a conversation that you can remember rereading here.
One thing unites everyone: the shock of this goodbye.
“Knowing that he died is something I cannot accept,” said an emotional António Guterres. “[Estou] deeply shocked and devastated ”, shared António Vitorino. António Lobo Xavier, who was a colleague of Jorge Coelho in the program Quadratura do Círculo, said that “I had talked to him at around 1:30 pm. It seemed to me quite well, we had fun with friends, I was far from imagining that a few hours later this would have happened. tragedy … ”
The reactions follow.
Today at 11 pm, another edition of Circulatura do Quadrado started [a nova versão da Quadratura do Círculo] and Carlos Andrade started it like this: “Good night, in more than 30 years of moderation of this program, this is certainly what I will be hardest to do. A journalist always has difficulty in giving his voice, in joining the word died to the name from a great friend: today Jorge Coelho died, a person who loved to live and to live always surrounded by friends “.
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