Protesters gathered outside Portugal’s presidential palace to donate money and food to the head of state after he complained about a drop in his pension due to the government’s austerity measures.
His remarks sparked a storm of protest.
Thousands have signed a petition calling for President Anibal Cavaco Silva to resign, bearing in mind the majority of Portugal’s elderly exist only a fraction of their president’s income.
The man who started the petition, Nuno Luís Marreiros, was pragmatic about what it might achieve: “If the petition has no other impact, maybe it will at least show to our politicians that the Portuguese are beginning to protest a bit more and to make their opinions known,” he said.
Cavaco Silva’s FaceBook page was also targeted. He has a declared income of 10,000 euros a month as well as investments, whereas average Portuguese has to survive on only 900 euros.
Cartoonists have had a field day over his remarks but the president has apologised admitting he expressed himself badly.