In a move that will delight everyday citizens, the country’s PSP police force is threatening a month where they will refuse to issue fines, in protest to the government’s inability to make any effective decision on changes to police statutes.
This long-running wrangle that has seen bitter recriminations from all sides has come to a head just as the ministry in charge claims it is “almost ready” with the necessary paperwork.
The Minister for Interior Administration Anabela Rodrigues assured security forces on Tuesday: “We are making all efforts to conclude the legislative process as quickly as possible. It will all be completed by the end of August, naturally.
But the PSP is not so sure.
“It has been four years of waiting,” union leader Mário Andrade told reporters. “Four years of advances and retreats that culminated in a document that should have been completed by the end of July. There is absolutely no justification for why this did not happen.”
With the PSP setting August 24 (Tuesday) as the deadline for delaying various forms of protest – including the issuing of fines – national tabloid Correio da Manhã writes that the GNR are ready to add their support.
César Nogueiro, the president of the GNR’s national association, is quoted as saying: “If the GNR statute is not approved by the end of the month, we will associate ourselves with the PSP, as we have on other occasions in the past”.
A mass refusal to issue fines would infuriate the government at a crucial time when it is going all out to win support for the looming legislative elections.
The lack of income, too, would make another dent in the State’s coffers.