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Benfica dishes out tickets to tax office, court and government staff

BenficaLogoBenfica football club has been inundated with requests for free tickets for matches, not from charities and indigent fans but from public servants from tax office staff, government officials and high court judges, according to leaked emails.
Júlio Loureiro, a court official, asked for a ticket for a game – also the Lisbon Finance Service and Rita Abreu Lima, the chief of staff of the former Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo, emailed for free tickets.
Nuno Salpico, a senior judge involved in a civil process involving Benfica, even asked for sponsorship for a film.
The emails have been made public on the mercadodebenficapolvo.wordpress.com blog and reveal that, in September 2010, Pedro Garcia Correia, a lawyer from Correia, Seara, Caldas, Associados, sent an email to the judge, stating that the lack of communication to date "does not mean your request is forgotten."
That year, Nuno Salpico was the judge in a civil case between Benfica and Britalar, a company owned by the president of Sporting Braga, António Salvador.
The collection of emails does not show what happened to the requests, but reveals that ticket requests are not exclusive to the current government.
In 2011, Diogo Guia, chief of staff of the then Secretary of State for Sports and Youth, Emídio Guerreiro, sent Paulo Gonçalves a request for three tickets for his colleague, Rita Abreu Lima, chief of staff of the Minister of Internal Affairs, Miguel Macedo. The game in question was SL Benfica vs FC Otelul in the Champions League.
Tickets were also asked for by Finance Office # 5 in Lisbon. An email sent on November 28, 2016, by a director Cristina Lopes to Antonio Rafael Rovisco at the club, asking for three tickets for a game with Naples in the Champions League on 6 December 2016.
The current Minister of Finance, Mário Centeno, has been investigated for blagging Benfica tickets but he was not charged with any offence.


0 #2 Hamilton 2018-02-13 11:32
It is a serious weakness that Portugal is seen in EU circles as somehow mentally deficient - still far too damaged from its Salazar fascist period - and so an unfair target to request genuine social, economic and anti-corruption measures from.
There is an excellently written EUObserver article on current anti-corruption measures in the Ukraine that could have been written for Portugal today. Showing how efforts are still only at the top of the tree, showing only marginal success and with little change at local level. And the absolute imperative, as Poland shows us, being to reform and replace the corrupt judiciary. Which never happened following Portugal's spoof 1974 revolution (note: small r) Otherwise, as we see daily in Portugal, it is just empty window dressing.
(Ukraine's fight against corruption has started to work)
+1 #1 Peter Booker 2018-02-13 08:00
The originators of these requests clearly expected to receive a benefit as a consequence of their public office. They were in no position to return that benefit. They therefore put themselves in a morally indefensible position of owing an obligation to a private concern.

Even to make such a request is morally wrong. I should like to know whether any guidance is given in the employment contracts of these public figures, detailing what kind of hospitality they may accept, let alone ask for.