José Manuel Barroso
Who is he: José Manuel Barroso is the former Prime Minister of Portugal (2002-2004) and President of the European Commission since November, 2004. As prime minister, Barroso slashed public expenditures to reach certain mandated EU goals. Barroso did not finish his efforts, however, for he became president of the European Commission in 2004 and then again in 2009 for another five-year term. If Barroso finishes his second term, he will become only the second to do so, after Jacques Delors.
Of course, there is some doubt that Barroso will finish out his term as the EU itself seems on shaky ground these days. It is more likely that Barroso may end up presiding over a shrunken EU – a kind of rump EU – with or without a euro.
Because of the failing Southern states, including Portugal from which Barroso hails, the EU is in jeopardy of splitting apart. Its political leaders have responded by forcing those countries in trouble to enact emergency austerity measures but this in turn has caused rising unrest.
Barroso has become one of the frontline faces of EU-imposed austerity. At once seemingly brutal and smug, José Barroso seems to have built his current political philosophy on his Maoist roots. Certainly, the EU is not a democratic institution – it only makes a show of responding to the public.
In fact, Barroso and the rest of the Eurocrats still remain fairly immune to public pressure in terms of the EU's largest legislative schemes. What has provided pressure apparently is the market itself, which does recognize EU schemes bailing out the EU's Southern PIGS as valid.
As a result, Barroso and the others are making attempts to set up their own internal ratings agencies. This is how Barroso and the rest operate. They do not welcome other opinions and go their own way, consolidating as much as they can on behalf of European and Anglo-American elites that want to see one-world government installed and view the EU as a stepping stone to that goal.
Barroso seems to remain a key player in this illegitimate activity. Like the rest of his fellow elite-enablers, Barroso is unable to visualize a scenario in which the EU responds with dignity and humility to its citizens.
As a result, the EU lacks credibility with the voters it purports to represent. This in turn has deepened the current crisis because those who live in the EU do not see its rule as legitimate, nor its rulers. Barroso and the others are "reaping what they have sown."
Background: José Manuel Durão Barroso was born March 23rd, 1956 in Lisbon, Portugal and graduated in Law from the University of Lisbon. José Barroso also has an MSc in Economic and Social Sciences from the University of Geneva in Switzerland and has received honorary degrees from the University of Edinburgh in 2006, among others. According to his CV, Barroso conducted research toward a Ph.D. from Georgetown University and its Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service in Washington, DC, although he did not complete the doctorate, and in 1998 Barroso completed the school's invitation-only Georgetown Leadership Seminar.
Barroso was a leader of the underground Maoist MRPP during his college days. In a well-known 1976 political interview, Barroso was hostile to an education system that "throws students against workers and workers against students." In 1980, Barroso joined the Democratic Popular Party and continues to be a member.
In 1985, Barroso was named Under-Secretary of State for Home Affairs and ascended to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in 1987. In 1992, Barroso was promoted to the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs and served until the defeat of the PSD in the 1995 general election.
José Manuel Durão Barroso was elected to the Assembly of the Republic in 1995 and became chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in opposition. In 1999 Barroso became president of his political party, PSD. Parliamentary elections in 2002 gave the PSD enough seats to form a coalition government and Barroso became Prime Minister.
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