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Felipe Gonzalez: a socialist that gets it

From | VenEconomy

28.10.05 | The Spanish socialist leader Felipe González visited Caracas this week and left in his wake a number questions that give both the government and the opposition food for thought. He who has ears to hear, let him listen. The major achievement attributed to Felipe González is that, for 14 years, he was at the head of the process of transformation in Spain that enabled the country to change from one of the poorest and backward countries in Europe to one of its most prosperous and flourishing. During his three terms as President of the Spanish Government, González laid the bases that have continued transforming Spain into a model for any country that aspires to development and well-being for its citizens.

In his speech before the 30th Iberian-American Conference of Insurance Companies, González was emphatic when mentioning a number of factors that determine the course of a country, the main ones being:

One, that, while democracy does not guarantee good government, it does guarantee governance of countries over the long term, and also permits the alternation of those who govern the country.

Two, one governs for all citizens respecting differences of opinion and feeling, the plurality of ideas, and opposing interests. These are the essential axes of a democratic system.

Three, there is no democracy without freedom, including private initiative, freedom of markets, freedom of the press, and freedom of political parties.

Four, both total deregulation and hyper-regulation are a disaster, whereas rules definitely afford protection for all.

Five, the most efficient way of fighting poverty is through sustained economic growth that generates jobs.

Six, it is as important to redistribute wealth as it is to create it. The peoples of Latin America expect their governments to build infrastructure and roads, supply them with potable water, use renewable energy, and develop human capital.

Seven, no nationalization policy has made any serious contribution to improving the living standards of a country’s citizens.

Eight, the purpose of a person who governs is not to obtain more power but to ensure that the citizens he serves live better.

And last of all, he reminded those present that it is possible to be highly critical without setting everyone’s nerves on edge.

On an anecdotal note, Felipe González stressed that when he puts his foot in it, he tries to pull it out quickly … and with no show of arrogance.

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