Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten Years of Panismo

Tomorrow marks the tenth anniversary of Vicente Fox's arrival to Los Pins. Leo Zuckermann marks the occasion by running through all the elements of the PAN's tenure that he has liked and hasn't:
I'll begin with economic policy. I have definitely liked the responsible management of the public finances. The panistas understood that macroeconomic stability is a necessary condition for the health of the Republic. The country suffered a great deal when the PRI governments exploded public spending in the '70s and '80s. The panistas, on the other hand, have been very responsible with public money. They have maintained control of the governmental deficit, which has generated low inflation and growing confidence in the financial markets in the nation. This is particularly important in these times in which other economies that destroyed their public spending are having a very difficult times.


I haven't liked, in contrast, that the PAN governments haven't been more aggressive in deepening the economic reforms oriented toward the market. This would have the objective of increasing the competitiveness of the nation. In this realm, we have remained stuck. A lost decade. We have survived with the same economic model from the 90s, where the principal engine of growth are the manufacturing exports to the United States. We haven't developed other engines neither in the internal market nor in potentially very profitable sectors like energy and telecommunications. The reality is that for ten years the panista governments have avoided confronting powerful interests that benefit from the economic status quo: monopolist businessmen and privileged unions.
He also talks about security, his frustration reflecting the failure of Calderón's team to establish any hierarchy of priorities in attacking criminal groups.
You have to confront the criminals. Nobody can be opposed to this. But you have to do so in an intelligent way focusing on the crimes that most harm society: homicide, kidnapping, and extortion. Fighting against illegal drug trafficking is a lost war. The state will never be able defeat such a lucrative market.
A liberal state, anyway. I don't think this is quite the prevailing opinion, but it should be. Anyway, the whole piece is worth reading if you speak Spanish.

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