The trick has been used in almost every election. When a right-wing candidate wants to embarrass a PS protagonist, he takes a photo of his opponent with José Sócrates on television: showing someone next to a leader who lived supported by 23 million euros of an account in the name of a friend is a weapon too tempting to leave in the drawer. It inflicts reputational damage. This toxic association has been recurrent in electoral, parliamentary debates or at rallies. And socialists rarely defend the former secretary-general. Even by judging, Socrates became the bête noire of Portuguese politics, a symbol of the worst vices of the ruling class: life above the possibilities – “those who sell goats and goats do not have it, somehow they come to you”, wrote – the alleged collusion with business, lies and concealment, not to mention bankruptcy and disrespect. Now, alone and with a ruined reputation, ten years after losing the government and seven years after the shock of preventive detention, he faces another decisive moment: he will know the result of the instruction next Friday, April 9. Does Judge Ivo Rosa maintain the prosecution? Or does it drop the main crimes, such as corruption? No decision will be harmless (see page 8). Any decision will have systemic effects on the policy. And José Sócrates will react in either case.
A week from now, Operation Marquês, in which Sócrates is accused of 31 crimes of passive corruption of political office holder, money laundering, qualified tax fraud and document forgery – along with 28 other defendants, such as Ricardo Salgado, Zeinal Bava or Henrique Granadeiro – will return to the first pages and will occupy hours of television commentary. Ten days later, on April 19, it premieres on Opto, SIC’s streaming channel, “Prison Domiciliary”, a fictional series about a corrupt politician who supplied himself with cash through his driver. Sound familiar? Before a normal human being can read the six thousand pages of Ivo Rosa’s dispatch, it will be debated in the public square whether the allegations of instruction are more fiction or reality or whether the television series is more reality than fiction. Commentator João Miguel Tavares, author of the script, assures Expresso (see Revista E, p. 59) that this is not the story of the former socialist leader (despite some tangents), not least because “Socrates is such a rich character that deserved a documentary ”about what really happened, you don’t need fiction to be an audience record holder.
This is an article from the weekly Expresso. Click HERE to continue reading.
Exclusive article for subscribers
At Expresso we value free and independent journalism
Did you buy the Express?
Insert the code present in Revista E to continue reading
Get the latest news delivered to your inbox
Follow us on social media networks