Almost a month has passed since President Gabriel Boric and his new government took command of Chile. And the senator for the Socialist Party, Fidel Espinoza, analyzed these four weeks that have not been without criticism.
In a conversation with the BioBioChile Research Unit, Espinoza gave his balance of the decisions that have been made so far, and assures that it has been a month of many difficulties, especially in adjustment processes. Because “it is not the same to come from a parliamentary opposition to govern.”
The senator states that much remains to be fine-tuned and that there were initial errors such as an absolute mismatch in the appointments.
“There were ministers who called people who were nominated for their positions and then the ministers themselves removed them from their positions. I had not experienced it in my parliamentary years. That is playing with the dignity of people and I cannot accept it as a senator, even if it is from my own government”, he explained.
He also assured that the important thing is that there are no more forced errors and that the positive decisions for Chile are the ones that begin to make the news.
“The little group that causes problems”
Would the details that remain to be fine-tuned go on that side?
Not only in the matter of nominations, in the art of governing. In other words, (Giorgio) Jackson, his first measure when he arrives in Congress after the terrible relations they have with most of the parliamentarians, is to put the utmost urgency on a project that does not have the votes, which is the pardon project. So I have deep respect for the Government and for Boric in particular, I have deep respect and affection for him, but many of those around him do him profound harm in these first weeks of his government.
-With your environment you mean Jackson or someone else?
Jackson, (Miguel) Crispi… the small group of power that believes to be omnipotent and that they are the ones that have ultimately caused tremendously serious problems in our regions – on the issue of nominations, for example. From that point of view, I hope that in the future the gears of the government apparatus adjust in a better way so that the positive events for Chileans and Chileans are news and not the mistakes that are made weekly.
Do you think that Jackson has generated spaces for conversation or that he has had good political management?
Jackson has two work styles that may have served him well in his role as a parliamentarian, but in his role as secretary general of the Presidency they will not work for him… He has a speech when he is meeting with parliamentarians, a speech of humility, of dialogue, and has another type of action outside when it is already empowered in the Government.
Many, I’m not just saying this for myself, within the caucus itself we don’t believe that they are null and void in many of the things that are happening today in the Government, in the Convention, for example. But in addition, on the legislative issue he has tried to place the Senate in a position of great discomfort before the citizenry.
For example, with this pardon project, that is the best example. That is a project that he knows does not have the votes and he puts it on the table with great urgency. For what? So that there is a citizen discomfort of the people who want amnesty for the prisoners of the outbreak. Leaving the Senate at odds with the citizens despite the fact that the polls, more than 70%, indicate that they are not very much in agreement with this project.
“Siches has a lot to learn”
-How have you seen this month of Izkia Siches and its unforced errors?
I share what the president of my party said: ‘In this country, politics lacks humility,’ and I think it is an act of humility for the minister to have apologized to the country for the mistake she made.
There are already two (errors). The trip to La Araucanía was, from my point of view, very hasty and the minister has no room for error in the future.
I congratulate the President for having supported her, because if there is one thing I want to tell her, it is that she is a woman, she is a good leader and she also has a lot to learn. Being Minister of the Interior is not the same as being president of a union, that also changes the figure and the roles that are played.
Therefore, the minister has to be very careful about who provides her the information, where she gets it from, so as not to make those mistakes.
-You mentioned that she has little margin for error… Do you think that Siches could be a Peñailillo 2 or could a similar story occur in Interior?
No, it would be very difficult to even approach the arrogance that (Rodrigo) Peñailillo had. The minister has humility, she is a minister who is going to learn, that she is intelligent and in positions one can make mistakes, that is fine. When you don’t recognize them, it’s the worst.
reality is on the street
-Do you think that this new government is highly influenced by Twitter or social networks?
I hope that the Government governs by listening to the voices of the regions, because 90% of Chileans who are from the regions do not use social networks to inform themselves. So letting yourself be influenced a lot by Twitter or by the Trendic Topic to govern is a bit complex.
I have a lot of faith in Gabriel Boric in particular, in his figure. In that he is going to know how to consolidate his government in a good way.
I am fully convinced that today he, and as the months go by, will understand that in order to govern, it is also necessary to listen a lot to the regions. The reality of Chile is not in the social networks, but it is in the street, it is in the field when we talk to our leaders.
We need many authorities on the ground, many ministers, undersecretaries, seremis on the ground… and when this government absorbs that, we are going to have an important advance.
– Would you be missing more street?
For four weeks I cannot condemn that. I am not going to condemn the Government because the ministers have not yet been seen in the regions, because it would be unfair, they are just adapting. They still haven’t named the service directors, the installation process has been slow.
I hope that this Government will be installed definitively in two or three months, to start working and go out with everything to meet the expectations and dreams of our compatriots.
-The Socialist Party should have a more political role in the Government? He is only strong Montes, but do you think someone else from the party should join the political cabinet?
It should be, but that is a decision that can clearly be adopted by the President of the Republic. The Socialist Party obviously needs to have a greater presence in the political committee, because the Party represents millions of Chilean men and women.
We are the strongest bench of senators of the ruling party, we have a very good bench of deputies, we were the only party of the then opposition that took out a very important number of constituents.
The The Socialist Party is rooted in the soul of our country, therefore I hope that in the future the Socialist Party will have a much more preponderant role in the government of the president. And I don’t mean the positions, I mean being part of the much deeper political decisions in the political committee.
-To what extent is the PS’s unconditional support for the Boric government?
No. The PS does not deliver blank checks to governments, not to this one or when we were a government with Michelle Bachelet. We are going to be loyal to the government of President Boric. Loyal but not unconditional. The unconditional ones are those who hit the president on the back when they see him, but criticize him from behind. We want loyalty with the Government.
The fifth retreat
In relation to the last withdrawal, the senator stated the following: “I am going to vote in favor of the fifth withdrawal, because I believe that a critical situation is being experienced in the country, and this reactivation plan does not reach everyone. There are millions of Chileans who are left out of the 21 measures announced by the president.”
I said when it was the fourth (withdrawal), which was lost: ‘This is going to be the last time I vote in favor of a public policy like this one that I don’t like, but which is necessary due to the crisis the country is experiencing’ .
Today, food prices are through the roof in our regions. When a family used to eat 200,000 pesos in the supermarket, today it costs 500,000. That unfortunately makes this recall necessary. From that point of view, being very respectful of the president, I am going to vote in favor, even if the party gives me an order to the contrary.
His own deputies from the Approve Dignity ruling party voted in favor of admissibility, so today it is very difficult to overthrow him. At least I am going to vote in favor of what the people of my region say, and the people of my party, that more than 90% have raised with me internally that withdrawal is essential to get out, in part, of this crisis. tremendous that is being lived in homes.
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