Saturday, 3 April 2010
It's a small world after all
The task of reconstruction is so great that Chile cannot afford incompetence, laziness or corruption. That is why I hope for the best with this government. Yet day after day, the signs are not encouraging.
In the last few days the government has announced that it will purchase reconstruction materials from three large corporations, sidestepping any process of public tender. This is permitted, because of the extraordinary circumstances in the areas most affected by the February 27 earthquake.
But as this report shows, the personal links between government officials and the companies in question make the whole thing seem rather sordid. What's worse, it's a structural problem. Since Piñera named so many non-political, private sector types to high ranking posts, these conflicts of interest will appear again and again. In the long run, it will only serve to delegitimize the government and its parties, and that doesn't do us much good.