Saturday, May 21, 2011

Piñera's speech

Sebastián Piñera gave his presidential address today--here is the text, complete with subheadings.  It is a strikingly comprehensive speech.  How often do presidents include a discussion of how they've worked to encourage tourism?

Some quick thoughts:

--Can't agree more with his discussion of defense, where he discussed both getting rid of the Copper Law and reforming the Code of Military Justice.  Since he also brought up human rights and noted the abuses of the dictatorship, he did not throw a bone at all to the far right and retired officers.

--He took a direct swing at Evo Morales for his comments about the border dispute.  It is hard to resist a little nationalist fervor, especially with Bolivia.

--He mentioned the problem of narcotrafficking, and it is an unfortunate sign of the times that this is increasingly  becoming part of Chilean presidents' speeches.

--Does anyone really ever pay attention when presidents make extravagant claims like creating one million jobs?  Piñera made that claim, said he achieved less than half, and declared victory.

His approval rating is currently at 41%, with 49% disapproval, so it seems that Chileans are not necessarily convinced that the past year has been quite so "fecundo y promisorio."


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