The paper


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.

I ARRIVED at the Notary in a bad mood. I had left my duties in order to attend the lawyer’s request to sign a paper, on which my current signature was required.

When I understood what the paper was for, I was astonished to discover it was going to be transported by a driver – who was already there – three hundred kilometres to deliver it to a public department in Lisbon!

What lead to my bad mood was the fact that this was necessary in order to authorise a friend of mine to collect a certificate that I had requested.

I froze! I didn’t want to believe that this paper with my current signature recognised by the Notary was necessary in order to attest my authorization to a paper that I had demanded!

I refused! With the conviction that someone was being more papist than the Pope, I wanted to believe that the norms didn’t oblige me to do so, especially in a country that has invested millions against bureaucracy!

I was right! In the end, a fax was sufficient for the department to authorise delivery of the mentioned certificate!

In this country, with a bureaucratic mentality, citizens must know the laws better than the citizens that have an obligation to know them!

We still have public officers who don’t want to understand that their mission is to try to facilitate the life of common citizens!

Fortunately, these officers are becoming less. But we still find some that take it too seriously!

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