Respect and not fear

By: FERNANDO OLIVEIRA COSTA

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.

NEARLY 200 complaints to denounce abuse of power from Inspeccão de Finanças (finance office inspection department) will enter the attorney general’s office.

In the hunt for money, it seems that elementary rules of respect for citizens are not being respected.

The feeling that we have historically is that there is no point complaining about abuse of power.

We have the idea that we are the weakest link and powerless to complain. More so, we are often worried that we could be prejudiced or embarrassed.

For these reasons, when faced with abuse of power, a citizen will often choose to stay quiet.

We are much happier when we realise that this abuse is not dictated by those who are in power; that they do not come from the top. There are some people who want to be holier than the Pope!

A few days ago I received a letter from a representative of a state service, who was worried about an article where I described abuse of power carried out by inspectors.

In my answer, I congratulated the attitude of this representative, especially because he gives us the comfort of knowing that these are isolated cases and do not reflect the attitudes or ideas of those in power or the majority of employees!

Thank goodness for that! The state of rights is saved. And, instead of fear, we gain respect!

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