“A Luxury of a President” Jorge Bruce, La República,20 Junio 2016

“La elección de un Presidente pariente de Jean Luc Godard, y cuya esposa es prima de Jessica Lange, es una gozada. Pero para la abrumadora mayoría de personas que lo eligió para evitar el retorno del autoritarismo y la corrupción, el lujo consiste en tener acceso a servicios básicos: seguridad, salud, educación, alimentación, transporte”.

Some commentators have stated that it is a luxury to have PPK (Pedro Pablo Kuczynki) as our President: he is, they say, as “a luxury of a President”. It is true that the bar for his performance has been set very low by his predecessors: Humala, García o Toledo. They are all too easy to outperform, be it because of their mediocrity, their corruption, their presumed omnipotence, their lack of imagination or all of the above in various combinations. None have left an indelible and lasting footprint in the country. There is, however, another sense in which PKK could turn out to be a “luxury President”: he, indeed, has led a cosmopolitan life of luxury that distances him unquestionably from the  daily preoccupations the vast majority of Peruvians face. If when you open the faucet of your shower you immediately get a jet of nice warm water --and water has been one of his key campaign promises-- ¿how in the world are you going to identify with those who have to buy it from trucks, and carry it for miles in heavy plastic buckets along steep dirt roads? If the scorched earth opposition announced by Keiko Fujimori is to serve any good purpose, it should be to remind our “luxury President” who elected him and for what. It was not the Club Nacional or the fellow members of the Gulf Club. For those voters --and I am one of them-- having a President who is family of great Swiss film Director Jean Luc Godard, and whose wife is the cousin of American actress Jessica Lange is just dandy. But for the vast majority of those who elected him to prevent the return of authoritarianism and corruption, the real luxury would be to have access to basic services like security, health, education, food and transport. The luxury would be that access to those social rights were to be real and with quality. Not the prevailing misery.

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“A Luxury of a President” Jorge Bruce, La República,20 Junio 2016

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