Eduardo Oliveira Costa is a journalist and publisher of several newspapers across Portugal. He is on the board of several organisations, is president of a football club, and has a keen interest in the press, among other media, and the business environment.

IT WAS a sunny afternoon, with practically no traffic and few tourists in the square by the riverside at ‘Ribeira’ in Porto.

I parked the car where it didn’t disturb anyone, although there was a no parking sign.

One hour later I returned and saw a little note on the windscreen. A parking fine!

I decided to go to the police station and speak to the officer there about my displeasure. On a sunny day, a Sunday afternoon, a calm and almost empty riverside, what was the problem with my car, parked with others in a place that didn’t bother anyone, for a mere hour?

The officer of the day was a nice man who agreed with me and recommended that I spoke with his colleague, telling me where he was.

“I only ask you to pass on my displeasure,” I said.

Face to face with the officer’s glance, I thought he must be asking himself, “so why did you come here?” I clarified that my only intention was to emphasize my displeasure to the careful officer who wrote the fine. I wanted to tell him that his attitude was exaggerated, although he was fulfilling his duty.

It was not my intention to say the same as the driver who had parked next to me, who said “This is what we call the ‘hunt for fines’. We aren’t bothering anyone!”

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