Marcelo drank ginjinha and toasted “to peace” with Cardinal Américo Aguiar

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Among countless selfies and greetings, which took hours, the President of the Republic today drank the traditional ginjinha in Barreiro, Setúbal, and toasted “to peace” accompanied by Cardinal Américo Aguiar.

At 5pm, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, arrived in the vicinity of Tasca da Galega, the place chosen to taste the ginjinha from Barreiro, in the district of Setúbal.

As soon as he arrived at the venue, and as is customary on this occasion, he was ‘swallowed up’ by hundreds of people who were waiting for him for the desired ‘selfies’ that have already become a kind of brand image for the head of state.

“This year I’m going to toast to peace, I think it’s the most important thing in the world, it’s going to be peace because if we don’t have peace we have constant economic and financial crisis in the world, in Europe and in Portugal,” Marcelo told reporters.

A short walk of a few minutes separated the place where the head of state was from the entrance to Tasca da Galega, but between greetings and photographs, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa only entered the door about two hours later, at 19:10.

On his arrival at the tasca, accompanied by the Mayor of Barreiro, Frederico Rosa, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recalled that he has been coming to this place on Christmas Eve since he was President of the Republic, a tradition that was only interrupted in 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic. That year, the ginjinha went to Belém Palace.

Asked if he would be spending Christmas with his son Nuno Rebelo de Sousa, who was recently involved in the controversy over the Portuguese-Brazilian twins treated at Santa Maria hospital, the head of state didn’t answer.

As for how he will celebrate Christmas, Marcelo said that the festive season had already started “at the beginning of the week” with a dinner with his Portuguese grandchildren “who in the meantime were scattered in various places in Europe and Dubai”.

“And then it’s been little by little, ‘tiqui, tiqui, tiqui’, because as I’ve been getting compliments it means it’s going to be practically until the end of the year,” he added.

The head of state said that, after the ginjinha, he was going to have dinner with the bishop of Setúbal, Cardinal Américo Aguiar, and then go to the rooster mass there.

A few moments later, the door of Tasca da Galega was opened by Cardinal Américo Aguiar himself, who asked: “Is there any gin left?”, to which Marcelo replied: “I’ll have to toast again”.

Marcelo then toasted a second time, accompanied by the cardinal, “to health and peace, peace, peace”.

The cardinal, who was also approached on the way out by a few people asking for photos, joked at the end of the toast: “Setúbal has everything, it just doesn’t compare”.

The President of the Republic was also asked if this would be a sadder Christmas because of the case involving his son and the Luso-Brazilian twins controversy, but Marcelo replied that he has had “much sadder” Christmases, recalling the death of his father.

“Sad Christmases are Christmases linked to death or very serious health problems. Then there are less nice Christmases, more nice Christmases, less happy Christmases, more happy Christmases,” he said.

On the way out, the same crowd was waiting for him to take the remaining photos.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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