The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, argued today that it is possible to have “stronger democracies” if we don’t choose to “wait and see”, calling for “serious” reforms to avoid changes coming from the swamps and “stirring up stagnant waters”.
In his speech on the 113th anniversary of the Implantation of the Republic, which took place in Lisbon’s Praça do Município, the head of state issued several warnings about the need for change and reform, both internationally and nationally.
“Change will come because we prefer anticipation to conformism, openness to closure, changing mentalities, institutions and practices to situationism and inertia. It only depends on us. We, responsible at all levels, we the people, we the citizens of Portugal, Europe and the world,” he said.
Urging us not to let the freedom we live in “die”, “including freedom of thought and expression, whatever the cost”, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was peremptory: “We can make stronger democracies if we are not content to wait and see”.
“We can make universal organizations stronger if we don’t get used to promising to reform them year after year, knowing that we won’t deliver. We can reform seriously, continue along the path of reform, so that we don’t have to see counter-reforms do or pretend to do what we pretended we didn’t have to do,” he said.
However, for the President of the Republic, if institutions and systems take “forever to understand that they have to evolve and reform, to get closer to the people and thus not leave room for others to fill the void they are leaving behind”, there is a clear risk.
“All this could happen, and more quickly than you think: change will submerge swamps, stir up stagnant waters, open floodgates that have been closed for too long,” he warned.