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News > Latin America

Uruguay's Mujica Defends His Government's Achievements

  • Jose Mujica arrives on his Volkswagen accompanied by his wife. (Photo: Reuters)

    Jose Mujica arrives on his Volkswagen accompanied by his wife. (Photo: Reuters) | Photo: EFE

Published 18 November 2014

Jose Mujica highlighted the fact that in the past decade under leftist governments, Uruguay has grown by 5.9 percent a year. 

Uruguayan president Jose Mujica on Tuesday rejected opposition criticisms that the achievements under his administration were possible because of the "tail wind” brought by international conditions.

In his weekly program on Radio Uruguay, Mujica said, “It is false that all was due to the tail wind of the international situation.”

Mujica highlighted that in the past decade under leftist Broad Front governments, Uruguay grown by 5.9 percent a year on average.

“Positive macroeconomic indicators have not been a gift... Nothing was due to chance, but a product of applied policies,” he pointed out.

The outgoing South American leader said that international conditions were accompanied by concrete policies.

Ten years ago, when Tabare Vazquez from the Broad Front won the presidency, the net debt was over 70 percent of the GDP, while that number is barely at 23 percent today.

And according to a study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America, Uruguay has the lowest level of income inequality in Latin America.

“We must remember that in this country, in bad times, everyone was charged but those who ended paying were the poor sectors,” he added.

Mujica has been described as "the world's poorest president" due to his austere lifestyle and the fact that he donates around 90 percent of his US$12,000 monthly salary to charities benefitting Uruguay’s poor and small entrepreneurs. 

The former guerrilla leader has also achieved worldwide recognition for progressive policies implemented in the country during his tenure, including the legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage. 

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