Public Figure Profiles

José Socrates

José Sócrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa, GCIH, commonly known as José Sócrates, is a Portuguese politician who was the prime minister of Portugal from 12 March 2005 to 21 June 2011. For the second half of 2007, he acted as the president-in-office of the Council of the European Union.

Sócrates grew up in the industrial city of Covilhã. He joined the centre-left Socialist Party in 1981 and was elected as a member of parliament in 1987. Sócrates entered the government in 1995, as secretary of state for environment in the first cabinet of António Guterres. Two years later, he became Minister of Youth and Sports (where he helped to organize Portugal's successful bid to host UEFA Euro 2004) and in 1999 became Minister for Environment. Sócrates prominence rose during the governments of António Guterres to the point that when the prime minister resigned in 2001, he considered to appoint Sócrates as his successor.In opposition, José Sócrates was elected leader of the Socialist Party in 2004 and led the party to its first absolute majority in the 2005 election. By then, Portugal was experiencing an economic crisis, marked by stagnation and a difficult state of public finances. Like the preceding centre-right government, Sócrates implemented a policy of fiscal austerity and structural reforms. Among the most important reforms were the 2007 Social Security reform and the 2009 labour law reform. His government also restructured the provision of public services, closing thousands of elementary schools and dozens of health care facilities and maternity wards in rural areas and small cities. Despite austerity, Sócrates's government intended to boost economic growth through government-sponsored investments, namely in transportation, technology and energy as well as in health and school infrastructure. The government launched several public–private partnerships to finance such projects. Internally, Sócrates was accused of having an authoritarian style and of trying to control media, while internationally he completed the negotiations of Lisbon Treaty and had close ties with leaders such as the prime minister of Spain José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the president of Venezuela Hugo Chavez. The first Sócrates government was initially able to reduce the budget deficit and controlling public debt, but economic growth lagged.In 2008–09, with the Great Recession starting to hit Portugal and facing recession and high unemployment, austerity was waned as part of the European economic stimulus plan. Nevertheless, support for Sócrates and the Socialists eroded and the ruling party lost its majority in the 2009 election. The second government of José Sócrates faced a deterioration of the economic and financial state of the country, with skyrocketing deficit and growing debt. Austerity was resumed in 2010 while the country entered a hard financial crisis in the context of the European debt crisis.On 23 March 2011, Sócrates submitted his resignation to President Aníbal Cavaco Silva after the Parliament rejected a new austerity package (the fourth in a year), leading to the 2011 snap election. Financial status of the country deteriorated and on 6 April Sócrates caretaker government requested a bail-out program which was conceded. The €78 billion IMF/European Union bailout to Portugal thus started and would last until May 2014. Sócrates lost the snap election held on 5 June 2011 and resigned as Secretary-General of the Socialist Party. For most of his political career, Sócrates was associated with several corruption cases, notably Independente University and Freeport cases.On 21 November 2014 he was arrested in Lisbon, accused of corruption, tax evasion, and money laundering, becoming the first former Prime Minister in the history of the country to be thus accused. On 24 November Sócrates was remanded in custody on preliminary charges of corruption and tax fraud. He was held in Évora prison until 4 September 2015 when he left the prison for a relative's house in Lisbon, where he remained under house arrest until 16 October 2015. That day, a judge released him from house arrest, allowing him to await the end of the investigation in freedom, although remaining forbidden from leaving the country or contacting other suspects of the case. The police investigation, known as Operation Marquis continued until his indictment in October 2017. In 2018, Sócrates abandoned the Socialist Party.

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Some of their strengths

José Socrates has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Passionate, Innovative, Sophisticated, Kind, Curious, Independent, and Analytical.

Smart and Sophisticated

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, José Socrates is someone who is a smart, sophisticated, and organized person who displays kindness and grace in every day interactions, and who also has a passionate soul. A person who is known for being diligent and strong.

Charming and Sophisticated

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know José Socrates well know them as someone who can be classy, glamorous, and worldly, like jewelry.

Truthful and Kind

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe José Socrates as someone who is honest, compassionate, imaginative, and instinctual.

A person who enjoys new challlenges, is a magnet for attracting other creative types, good at identifying opportunities, and who is good at forming loyal, lifelong friendships.

Charismatic and Instinctual

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, José Socrates is someone who handles stress better than most people, and who tends to have a powerful charisma and convictions.

They are also someone who is intuitive, imaginative, and an agent of change, and who is always dreaming of life's great possibilities and partnering with people to try to achieve those possibilities.

Altruistic and Purposeful

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, José Socrates tends to be someone who has a desire to be of service to a higher calling and who is always trying to perfect things. Who can be practical and polished, reserved and methodical, and who tends to trust internal judgment before trusting anyone else at face value.

Some of José Socrates's challenges

While José Socrates has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, José Socrates can be Rebellious, Unrealistic, Emotional, Difficult, Perfectionist, Emotionally Distant, and Short-tempered.

Difficult and Perfectionist

One of José Socrates's key challenges is that they are someone who can be difficult and too much of a perfectionist.

José Socrates must also exercise caution as they can be short-tempered and aggressive, and can have difficulty dealing with responsibility, authority, or criticism.

Unrealistic and Indecisive

José Socrates is someone who can be unrealistic, indecisive, and lacking in confidence, who can be impulsive when it comes to making important decisions, have difficulty collaborating with others, can be argumentative and not willling to accept criticism, and who can be disappointed by the high expectations they place on others.

Critical and Bossy

Finally, José Socrates also can be too focused on the small details of life, try to control whatever is happening, and be finicky and demanding.

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