Portuguese president’s controversial remarks

lisbon.- President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousadenied on Sunday that he A young Canadian woman’s cleavage was sexist and explained she did it because it was coldThe video sparked controversy over the weekend and has gone viral.

Rebelo de Sousa looked surprised when asked a question by a Portuguese journalist accompanying him on a state visit to the North American country.

“Don’t tell me, I don’t even know what I’m commenting on,” he said.

This was not a sexist comment, nor did it occur to me, either to the young woman or to the old ladies. This is not sexist at all.” added Rebelo de Souza in a statement to the media in Toronto.

The scene, captured by television cameras, occurred as Rebelo de Souza took a walk to meet members of Canada’s Portuguese community.

At one point, the Portuguese president stopped to talk to a mother and daughter and said sarcastically to them: “The daughter is prettier than her mother. Your daughter still has a cold. Didn’t you see what her cleavage looks like?“.

Video of that moment went viral, and criticism of the 74-year-old Portuguese head of state has not stopped.

Rebelo de Souza said Sunday that while he was walking through Montreal’s Portuguese neighborhood – although Portuguese media had previously reported it was in Toronto – it started to rain and it was cold, so he warned “A few older ladies, one of whom had gray hair, and some younger ladies“.

“I told several people, but apparently only the young woman was recorded, ‘Be careful because they can still catch a cold, I have a cold,'” he concluded.

Several political parties have reacted to this weekend’s events in Portugal.

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One of the founders of the environmental party Livre, Ray TavaresIn a statement to Portuguese newspaper Publico on Sunday, he said the comments did not represent “responsibility” for the president of the republic.Defend the people’s right to self-government and respect the choices of their fellow citizens“.

He argued that Rebelo de Souza’s words “ultimately put a fellow countryman in a position where she had no choice, which is likely to be uncomfortable.”

Inês de Sousa Real, a spokesman for the animal rights party PAN, said the president should clarify whether his comments had “no malicious intent” and “stress the importance of not normalizing these comments.”

“We recently mobilized in Spain and the international community on the Rubiales case,” the spokesman recalled.

He continued: “We are not here to gauge the gravity of the situation, but the fact is, we cannot forget that we live in a domestic violence The siege is severe, and many times, innocuous remarks can be seen as legitimizing actions with other intentions.

De Souza Real and Tavares responded after Socialist Party General Secretary Isabel Moreira made the remarks on the social network X (formerly Twitter) on Friday evening.

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“The concept is self-explanatory. It’s 2023. This is not a woman you don’t know who is being told a ‘joke’ about her weight. This is not a ‘joke’ about her cleavage. If you don’t understand, Who would tell you? “That’s PR (an abbreviation for public relations in English), learning. and apologize. Sexism kills us. This is not a joke,” Moreira concluded.

This is not the first time that Rebelo de Souza has been the subject of such controversy, as he caused a stir last weekend with some of his comments during a visit to the Alentejo region, when he gave up his seat to a woman and asked if “the chair can Let it go?”

The leader of Portugal’s far-right party Chega André Ventura also joined in the criticism. Rebelo de Sousa.

“If I were to comment on a woman’s cleavage in public, we would have received dozens of complaints at the ERC (Social Communications Regulator), the Attorney General’s Office and I don’t know how many associations and observatories on gender equality,” Ventura wrote on the X network on Saturday.

The president’s party, the Social Democrats (center-right), has not yet commented on the controversy.

At the end of August, Rebelo de Sousa already caused controversy when he commented on the kissing case of the then president of the Spanish Football Federation. Luis Rubialessaid to football player Jennifer Hermoso, with war in ukraine.

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