Turn your back on the minister

The minister of Internal Administration was in the Algarve on Wednesday for a meeting in Albufeira with regional and local officials […]

The minister of Internal Administration was in the Algarve on Wednesday for a meeting in Albufeira with regional and local responsible for tourism and restaurants. The meeting was promoted by the associations of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve, AHETA, and of Hotels, Restaurants and Similar in Portugal, AHRESP, and was announced as a debate on the theme of «Tourism Safe». A debate, look!

Not least because there was no prior indication that this would not be the case, it was assumed that the debate would be open to everyone, namely journalists.

But it was not. Minister Miguel Macedo decided that, after all, he wanted this debate to be held behind closed doors, without the presence of boring journalists, who could listen and then disclose some truths that the minister was not interested in...

Therefore, His Excellency decided that the meeting should take place behind closed doors. And so it was.

The Minister also forgot to warn that, at the end of the meeting, he would not feel like talking to the journalists, who stayed there for three hours, outside the door, thinking that in the end they could hear - and transmit to the public, to all of us – what Miguel Macedo would have to say about the topic of tourism and security – or insecurity.

In the end, after making the journalists wait three hours for the crumb of some final statements, the minister decided that he was not going to speak. I didn't want to open my mouth and that's it!

The most ridiculous thing is that, it seems, after having communicated, through the press officer, that after all he did not speak, the minister even thought better of the matter, perhaps advised by someone more thoughtful than he, and also announced that he was already speaking .

Only the journalists turned their backs on him and left! And they did very well!

What Minister Miguel Macedo forgot is that, by refusing to speak to journalists, he is, in fact, refusing to speak to the public, the people, people, citizens, voters, all of us! Because if journalists – from newspapers, radio, television – do not realize what happened in that meeting behind closed doors, even if only through the final statements of a minister, it is the public who are harmed, who need to know what is being done to improve security in the Algarve.

By refusing to speak to journalists, the minister is denying all of us citizens the information to which we are entitled. And each one of us, as a citizen, should be indignant against this kind of attitude.

Journalists are boring, sometimes ask inconvenient questions, have a habit of questioning the truths that some would like to see as absolute, but their work is fundamental to the defense of the minimum quality of democracy and to the defense of the rights that anyone of we, as citizens, have to be informed.

The newspapers said, in the days prior to this visit by Minister Miguel Macedo, that he would come to announce the increase in the number of police forces in the Algarve.

Whether he did so, we don't know, because, in the end, the minister closed his mouth and didn't speak to the journalists.

In the midst of all this, all I have to do is congratulate my fellow journalists for having decided to turn their backs on the minister when he, seeing that he had reached into the puddle, tried to back down. It is time that the rulers of this country stopped considering themselves untouchable kings, who can treat others, namely journalists, with contempt and lack of respect.

Congratulations colleagues! That's how it's done! It may be that, next time, the minister will better ponder his attitudes. For the sake of Democracy!


Note: This is the text of my Thursday's chronicle on RUA FM radio, under the heading “I have Dito”, which can be heard in person. here