We live in difficult times. The pandemic left us exposed to our poverty, the impact of the high taxes we pay and the inability of policymakers to act appropriately in response to the medical emergency and economic collapse.
The Municipality of Coimbra is a bad example. For the most attentive, the Municipality has spent, without apparent plausible justification, taxpayers' money on the acquisition of non-priority goods from companies that appear to exist only to compete for these contracts.
The lack of transparency in tenders, candidates and decisions is a constant, but in this pandemic period the decisions made are even more shocking, due to the abuse of the flexibility offered to increase the financial amounts involved in public contracts without any control or supervision.
Coimbra is looting. We should demand the proper use of taxes that it costs us so much to pay. In reality, we should be discussing how to build the post-pandemic future ... But that is impossible. Especially with current political actors. These are so far removed from the reality and difficulties of the daily lives of populations that are not part of the solution. They are part of the problem.
What makes me write this? I want more and better for my community. I want to preserve a glimmer of hope for the future. I want to imagine Coimbra as a region capable of offering its inhabitants, especially young people, the possibility of making their dreams come true, fulfilling their expectations and aiming for an even better life for their children and grandchildren.
But every day I am faced with local political decisions that lead to the plundering of the region for its qualified young people, because here ... there seems to be no future.
It is necessary to understand what is happening in our region. My generation, born after the 80s of the last century, lives with great difficulties, with precarious jobs and low salaries. Economic dependence on family members is common, the possibility of saving a mirage, let alone buying a house or starting a family.
As if that were not enough, my generation does not trust public services because every day they watch them fail when they need them: health education, not to describe the insecurity of knowing that they will not have Social Security support in their old age.
The reality of local public services only highlights this finding, whether due to the high tax burden that inhibits individual initiative, the centralism that accumulates power and prevents real scrutiny and the manipulation of competition by a small number of people who protect mediocrity making it impossible to success through individual merit.
It is the accumulation of all these frustrations that those responsible for the plunder of Coimbra avoid discussing, confronting and reversing. These frustrations are not yours, as they do not live.
The social elevator has been stopped for more than 20 years. Few are those who, through their talent, work and action, manage to overcome all obstacles and live a better life. Unless they are part of the… party machine, ghost companies, contractual approvals without prior visas, small and large thefts to taxpayers. This destroys the future of the remaining citizens and worsens the quality of life for all.
We must also consider the negative impact of wedges, compadrium, access to public goods and resources by the name they have, their contacts or who they manage to influence… for the inbred construction of family dynasties in key institutions where they do nothing but control .
How to change this reality? How to stop the looting of Coimbra? We need to bring new faces and world experiences to local politics. We need everyone who has created wealth or jobs or is an example of overcoming in their private life. We need everyone who knows other realities in different social, political and economic contexts and can bring these experiences, ideas and capacity for action to build a future of greater freedom, without the blocks of those who do not want to leave the past and stagnation.
The Liberal Initiative will do everything locally to be part of the solution. Join us. As Portugal needs Coimbra, Coimbra needs you.
The author writes according to the old spelling.