The head of an economics think-tank said that the Uruguayan government reactions to his criticisms of the management of the country’s economy are a kind of “authoritarian tick” which pretends to censor all those who do not share the “official truths”.
Economist Ernesto Talvi, head of think-tank Ceres during a recent conference claimed that the Uruguayan government had put the salaries and incomes policy and the control of government expenditure in the hands of trade unions and their political allies, warning about the loss of competitiveness and the danger of ‘heterodox’ measures to control inflation.
The Uruguayan government reactions were quick. President Jose Mujica in his daily broadcast without mentioning Talvi talked about analysts with “political interests” and later in the day the chief advisor of the Ministry of Economics, Andres Masoller accused Talvi of ‘destroying the image of Uruguay” and again pointed to ‘political interests rather than economic’ behind his criticism.
“It’s a pity that with these kinds of statements there is an attempt to destroy in a few seconds what with so much effort this government and the whole of the Uruguayan people have managed to build in recent years”, said Masoller.
However Talvi insisted with his opinions about the Uruguayan economy and said it should not come as a surprise that “they refuse to talk about the matter and rather appeal to offensive language. Whoever dares point out inconsistencies, errors or omissions of the economic policy of this government has ‘a political intention’ or even worse is an ‘outcast who is trying to tarnish the image of the country’”.
The World Bank consultant and Brookings Institute advisor said that these reactions have “an authoritarian tick” which yes, “damages the image of Uruguay because they don’t contribute to a civilized debate but rather try to disqualify and censor whoever dares question the official truths”.
Talvi also questioned that the current achievements are only the merit of the last two governments.
“What really surprises is the arrogance of attributing to the efforts of the (ruling coalition) Broad Front the image of a serious and responsible country. This image was built thanks to the efforts of all the democratic governments which ruled before the Broad Front”, said Talvi.
He then recalled not pleasant moments for the current ruling coalition: “the seriousness and responsibility is really put to test in difficult demanding moments, not at times of abundance as has been the experience of the Broad Front. And to this respect the government of ex President Jorge Batlle which had to face the 2002 tremendous crisis, honouring deposits and creditors, was a milestone in the construction of the international prestige which Uruguay currently enjoys”.
And “it’s not me who is saying this but none less than Vice president Danilo Astori in his presentation of the book from economist Carlos Steneri on the 2002crisis”.