Anti-corruption boss says “Portugal still has a lot to do” to clean-up its act

As PJ police hone in on another former government representative in the Golden Visa scandal, anti-corruption boss Guilherme d’Oliveira Martins has been talking of the “terrible phenomenon” that is corruption in Portugal.

What was odd though was his choice of audience.

Instead of lecturing politicians on their propensity to bend rules and curry favours, he chose pupils at a secondary school in the Alentejo – telling them that corruption was everywhere, in almost every aspect of day-to-day life.

“We have to approach teachers, students, citizens in general and say that (corruption) can and should be combated by everyday people,” the president for the prevention of corruption stressed.

Pupils of Évora’s Escola Secundária Severim de Faria were described by Lusa news agency as “inspired” by Martins’ exhortations.

He highlighted “little acts, as simple as jumping a queue” as forms of cheating – ergo, corruption – that had to be tackled.

And the man many have remarked “looks just like Mr Bean” added that rules were necessary, “for example over gifts and presents”.

Martins concluded that while laws should be simple, clear and accessible, the Public Prosecutor had been offering “very beautiful cooperation” in this sphere – as seen in recent investigations like Operation Labyrinth (Golden Visas), Operation Marquês (Sócrates), BES, PT, Ferrostaal, Remédio Santo, Face Oculta, and many many others.

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