Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carta aberta a Angela Merkel

Dear Chancellor,

I am taking the liberty to address this open letter to you in anticipation of your visit to my country, Portugal, on the 12th of November.

I am sure your staff has prepared you well for this trip, but I would like to take this opportunity to express my views as a citizen of my country and as a citizen of our European project.

Many of my compatriots are eager to demonstrate against you and your position with respect to our debt and our financial position as a country. I can understand their anger, their frustration, and their desire for justice or even vengeance. I am asking for your help. I am asking you to walk, just for a day, in the shoes of a swelling number of my compatriots whose needs I am describing below.

We are all very well aware that Portugal has overspent well beyond its means to pay. And that Portugal has grossly misused funds that were available to us for very noble and worthy purposes.

But I would like to let you know that this Portugal I just mentioned is not the Portugal to which I belong. The Portugal I belong to, with many other of my loyal compatriots, has not spent over its ability to pay, and when this Portugal I belong to has borrowed, it has always paid with interest, in full and on time.

But even so, the Portugal that I belong to has been grossly ignored and has now been asked to pay the debt of the few who scandalously and wrongfully gained from all of the above misdeeds, and who are now spreading the debt to anyone in sight. But mostly the poor among us, making them even poorer.

And so, this Portugal that I belong to, instead of having hope in the future, looking forward to a new era, and becoming a strong and valuable partner in the European consortium, is walking around angry, demotivated and in mourning as the country is plundered, destroyed and reduced to cinders.

Examples of this destruction is now seen in the soup kitchens that grow in numbers and feed more and more people every day. These same soup kitchens now have waiting lists that grow longer every day.

This same Portugal has, over the more recent past, reduced its purchases at the supermarket. It used to buy meat, but reduced these purchases to pork. But even these have already been reduced to poultry. And many are now only eating sausages, if that much. This is visible in the most recent statistics.

In this same Portugal, where taxes are reaching a scandalous imbalance, the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer and those in between are finding more and more in common with the poor. In this Portugal I am describing to you, more and children are getting to school without eating breakfast. More and more people, mostly the older people, are returning home from the pharmacy with only part of the prescription because they cannot afford to pay for all of the medication they need.

But, in this same Portugal, the rich, the governing elites and the corrupt influence peddlers are getting richer by the day, and more hated as the days go by. In the meantime, the superfluous official expenditures and benefits are being preserved. While government employees are being let go in the most important functions to society, such as education and the health services. There are many examples of Health Centers without bandages, syringes or surgical gloves.

There is more crime, more shoplifting, more violence, more distrust, among citizens and with respect to the institutions. There is less investment, less innovation, less entrepreneurship. More and more enterprises are declaring bankruptcy. And many individuals too. Every day that goes by our capacity to function as a peer within the European Community is being reduced. I would say, destroyed. The rupture in the social fabric is becoming scary to us all.

With all this there is less and less capability to pay for our past sins and misdeeds. There is a very strong mistrust in our government leaders.

I am not sure what has transpired at your level about my country. I have a strong feeling it is not the whole truth or even the truth. I have a strong belief that we are not headed in the right direction and that your office has not been well informed by the offices of my country.

There is a generalized feeling of revolt against the "Troika". But I think it is a derivative of our aversion to the measures and attitudes of our government who is seen as a team of puppets with no political savvy and negotiating skills.

There is a strong feeling among my Portuguese compatriots that Portugal should not pay its debt. But whether that is right or just, I do fear that Portugal, the way it is going, will not be able to pay its debt, regardless of whether it is right or just.

I would like to add, as a closing remark, that I do know I am not alone in my feelings, beliefs and convictions.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration.

Best regards,


  1. you most certainly are not alone, nor will AM be ... the minute she lands there will be a lot of people to make sure she knows that.
    Anyway, wtf is she coming to Portugal/Lisbon for?
    Why would she - and her staff - this was a good idea?

    1. I have no idea, but I DO HOPE that some people may have told her, in secret, that things here are NOT as pictured by our pathetic governors in their representations in the EU, and she may have decided to come and see for herself.
      And THAT is, I think, a very good idea.

  2. Alone in your convictions??? Will sign the open letter too.
    Mário Lopes