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Gabriel Boric: “With the economy there can be no irresponsible shortcuts”

The Chilean president-elect Gabriel Boric celebrated the diversity and youth of the cabinet of ministers that he has just announced, maintaining that the election of the head of the Treasury Mario Marcel, a tough fiscalist and pro-market, was a personal decision.

“There can be no irresponsible shortcuts in the economy,” he says, emphasizing the defense of fiscal balance. In the region, the figures of Luis Arce in Bolivia, Lula da Silva in Brazil and Gustavo Petro in Colombia stand out. “There you can put together a tremendously interesting axis.” He did not mention Argentina. Regarding Nicaragua, he said in a critical tone that “he was unable to find anything there” and remarked that Venezuela “is an experience that has rather failed.”

In an extensive interview in Santiago to the bbc london, the president remarked that the presence of more women than men in his cabinet (14 out of 10) is a symbol of a Chile that is moving away from the social elites that have governed the country since the return to democracy.

“At a time when the world is rapidly changing Chile also has to change and adapt”, Held. “We represent fresh air, youth, novelty, but with an awareness of the historical chain of processes. We also represent that the status quo or conservatism is the worst thing that can come to Chile at the moment”.

About to turn 36, Boric, a former deputy and former student leader, smokes intensely during the report that covers everything from politics to his habits, the rejection of the tie is one of them. He says that he would not use it even in the transfer of command with the outgoing Sebastián Piñera: “It would be symbolically giving up the essence,” he says.

When the journalist asks him if he considers himself closer to social democracy or communism, a very influential party and an ally in his coalition, he answers that “I come from the Chilean Americanist libertarian socialist tradition.. I am a democrat, and I believe that democracy has to change and adapt and not petrifying. I believe that democracy in Chile lacks greater density”.

Chile’s president-elect Gabriel Boric, left, shakes hands with current president Sebastián Piñera at La Moneda presidential palace in Santiago AP

Along these lines, he does not hesitate to defend his controversial communist partner who has triggered important differences between the most veterans of the party who have come to praise Daniel Ortega and the young people who have repudiated him as well as the repression of the protests in Cuba.

Boric distinguishes that “The PC today is committed to the implementation of our program. In addition, it has been a party that in Chile has been profoundly democratic and that has been on the side of social struggles and the oppressed, and that is something that also inspires me”.

When he takes him to the region, he summarizes that “it gives me a lot of hope and I hope to have a job side by side with Lucho Arce in Bolivia, if Lula wins the elections in Brazil with Lula, the experience of Gustavo Petro is consolidated in Colombia. I think that a tremendously interesting axis can be put together there”.

At that time, he said he understood “that the question is closely related to Venezuela and Nicaragua. In the case of Nicaragua I can’t find anything there and in the case of Venezuela it is an experience that has rather failed and the main demonstration of its failure is the six million Venezuelans in diaspora”.

Boric highlights the appointment of the president of the Central Bank of Chile, the Social Democratic economist Mario Marcel, who had a satisfactory impact on the markets, which reacted with a drop in the dollar and a rise in the peso for the first time in three months.

All a fact that the president explained as a personal decision when in the interview he asks him about how he managed to convince the Communist Party of that election. Marcel is a critic of the issuance, of budgetary care and maintains that one of the main true social efforts is to reduce inflation.

The economist Mario Marcel, the brand new Minister of Finance of Boric.  Reuters

The economist Mario Marcel, the brand new Minister of Finance of Boric. Reuters

“The appointments, of no position, were discussed in terms of people with the parties. They gave me full freedom to designate the cabinet, trusting in the criteria that I had to form our work team”, Amplió affirmed later that “I discussed the possibility of incorporating independent people and militants from political parties that were not part of the coalition and they gave me full freedom to do so and I exercised it accordingly”.

“Besides -he maintained-, I think that in the case of Mario Marcel in particular, he has a trajectory and experience in the State, in the budget directorate, in the Central Bank and also outside, in the World Bank, in the OECD, and that trajectory is unquestionable, and that in addition is a guarantee of seriousness for the reforms that we have to push and that they are going to be difficult”.

“They are going to require broad consensus and they needed, I think, this guarantee that a person like Mario Marcel can give them, in addition to his firm progressive convictions, as he defines himself as a social democrat,” he said.

“We aspire to be able to build a collaborative society, where part of its members are not abandoned or discriminated against for the living conditions that they have had to live in -he underlines-, and where the State is also capable of guaranteeing social rights in a universal manner regardless of the place where one is born, the ethnic group from which one comes or the color of the skin . And that requires structural reforms.”

He adds realistically that “we know that these things cannot be achieved overnight, we know that surely our government is going to build on what has been built in Chile in the last 30 years, but we are also going to have a turn of the rudder about the neoliberal logic of every man for himself in society, That’s something we have to end.”

Inflation in Chile grew exponentially for the parameters of that country around 12%. It is a complex limit to any management. Boric alludes to fiscal balance.

He affirms that “we have committed ourselves to respecting the budget approved by Congress, which has a reduction in fiscal spending of 22% and also to advance in our reforms. to the extent that we are ensuring permanent income what is considered permanent spending (fiscal balance). And that is a line from which we cannot deviate. There can be no irresponsible shortcuts. I am confident that the public will understand it.”

An important question is whether his government, as it was in the case of socialist Michelle Bachelet, would react if violently challenged in the streets. “We have the duty to enforce public order –he answers-, that is not an option for the government. And enforce the law.”

“What we hope is that through the transformation process that we are going to initiate, the call and the way in which we speak to the people of Chile, these sectors are going to be increasingly minority,” he said.
Santiago de Chile. Special for Clarin.


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