“Dos Santos” is the nickname he answers the phone and adopts in politics. The gateway to this world appeared by chance, opened by a friend, when he was already attending law school in Cologne. Catarina dos Santos did not want to “just study”, and joining Angela Merkel’s party, the CDU, seemed like a good pastime. Now it’s a “dream job”, a dream job, she described herself.
He was born in Lisbon, but grew up in the town of Eschweiler, near Aachen, in Germany’s most populous federal state, North Rhine-Westphalia. The mother is Portuguese, the father German. Catarina has part of her family in Lisbon and the Algarve, and visits the country frequently. But since she was a little girl, she dreamed of a longer stay, that went beyond the holidays.
“It was a great challenge, and a great desire of mine to be able to say that I was not only born there, I also lived there, and I know what life is like there,” he told TSF, revealing that he got a three-month internship at the Portuguese-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in Lisbon.
“It was a great time, with good food, good work, and very friendly people. I really enjoyed being there”, he confessed.
The family has been following closely the entire journey and couldn’t be happier, but doing politics in Portugal is not a goal.
Do “hobby” ao “dream job”
“I always liked to debate and argue, but I only became politically active at the beginning of my studies”, recalled Catarina. She was 20 years old when she was challenged by a friend to attend a meeting, and she never left.
“The fact that it became a profession was a happy coincidence,” he concluded. It was the unexpected emergence of a “dream job”.
Next to the imposing building of the German Federal Parliament, he enthusiastically describes his early days in a new office. It is divided between Eschweiler and Berlin, a week on each side, but the almost 600 km distance does not dampen the desire to represent their constituency, but also the young people and the Portuguese community.
“The local population and their concerns are my top priority. The pandemic will also take up a lot of our time. In addition, I will work on the digital and European committees”, pointed out the 27-year-old deputy, who chose the CDU as her party. and never thought of changing.
“I’ve always liked the CDU’s holistic perspective, of doing politics for everyone and not just one group in society,” he explained, adding that Angela Merkel, who ruled Germany for 16 years, also contributed to her membership in the party.
“We are missing Merkel”
Catarina dos Santos begins her career in the Bundestag after an election that gave the CDU the worst result. From government to opposition, in addition to losing the scrutiny, in September, the Conservatives also lost their leader, Armin Laschet, who decided to step down from office. It is a stage of new beginnings for Angela Merkel’s party.
“It is a great challenge for the party, no doubt. But for me there is no big difference because I don’t know the work of the Government. In the last 16 years I was not a deputy. The beginning is for everyone. For many of the deputies it is also a situation new,” he revealed.
Catarina dos Santos believes that the country already misses the former chancellor. Even so, he stresses that “the new government must be given the opportunity to show what it can do.”
With a federal executive formed, for the first time, by three parties – the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Greens, and the liberals of the FDP – it is necessary to give time to time.
“We will measure them in their actions”, stressed Catarina, who is part of the group of 197 deputies elected by the CDU for this legislature.