We were watching the news at lunchtime where a new form of protest was seen to be emerging. The Finance Minister, Vitor Gaspar, was at a university in Lisbon publicising his new book. Each time he opened his mouth to speak the audience, mainly students, burst into laughter. This is a far cry from just a couple of years ago, when politicians would be treated with reverence. We witnessed this first hand when we covered the opening by the President of the Republic of the council building in Oiã.
Cheering crowds surrounded the President, and people were within touching distance. Hardly something anyone would expect with the head of state in any other country. The crowd was warm, inviting, and happy. Nowadays, such scenes are far away. With the policies of austerity in full swing, the cars of politicians sweep through jeering crowds to their appointment, and the public is kept well away.