Opinion – Maria Inês Dolci: May 2023 be lighter and happier


The year is ending and it makes us reflect on the past, what we did and didn’t do. We evaluate whether we were more or less successful in our proposals and actions. In the case of the defense of consumer rights, the conclusion is that we managed, not only in 2022, but in the last four long and difficult years, including from 2020 onwards, when the biggest pandemic in a century occurred, to move forward. The biggest lesson was learning how to shop, build relationships and work remotely. We did it, and that was the victory.

That doesn’t mean we’ve had an easy year. Unemployment, while falling slightly, remains high. The lace is still flat. And the prices of the basic food basket insist on remaining high. Challenges for the new federal government, which will take office in a few days.

Pix really reduced the bureaucracy of moving money to pay bills and purchases, which is in line with this more digital life. And 5G technology has finally arrived in Brazilian capitals.

Two positive highlights: for the Procons network and for the ombudsmen, who were able to function with social distancing, and readapt to the return to face-to-face life. And we cannot forget that neighborhood shops and service providers, so useful in the worst moments of the pandemic, continue to struggle to survive this critical period for the economy.

It was not yet this year that we regulated, in the CDC (Consumer Protection Code), what was conventionally called electronic commerce, increasingly digital and online. Who knows if this CDC adjustment, whose study was presented by a Commission of Jurists in 2012, will go ahead in 2023?

What we can say is that with low income, no informal work and few formal vacancies, the consumer continued to exist and fight in this year that is now ending. He hasn’t renounced his rights, although education for consumption is an idea that doesn’t get off the ground.

That in the next 12 months all Brazilians can eat with dignity, have access to school, vaccines and paid and dignified work. It’s not a lot to ask for in this country-continent, where if you plant, everything gives. We will always keep an eye on consumer rights, to criticize what deserves criticism and praise good initiatives.

Honestly, I hope we have more reasons to praise than to complain.

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