The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, was included this Monday among the hundred most influential people in the world by the prestigious Time magazine, a great international recognition that collides head-on with the perception that local surveys offer of him, down in acceptance since who took office last March.
The same day that the nomination of the prestigious American magazine was announced, one of the best-known surveys in Chile, carried out every month by the Cadem company, ensures that only 38% of those surveyed approve of the president’s management, compared to 50% that reject it and the rest that do not speak.
The same poll, which is not one of the most reliable but is one of the most publicized in the local press, does offer a high percentage of approval, around 77%, for Boric’s decision to impose a state of emergency in the conflictive Araucanía region, despite promising not to do so and criticizing his predecessor for doing so.
And it shows the reality of the young president since he won the ballot in December: he garners applause and optimism abroad while trying to ride the wave of criticism that is whipping up from the right and the neoliberal business sector.
Better international image than in Chile
In this context, Time highlighted in its long-awaited article that “the victory of the former student leader represented a changing of the guard,
“But more importantly, it marked a change of direction for the economy of Chile and possibly the world,” wrote Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winner in Economics, author of the president’s profile in the prestigious publication.
“The night that Boric won the primaries, he promised: ‘If Chile was the cradle of neoliberalism, it will also be its tomb!’ And that has become the rallying cry of those around the world seeking an alternative to the right-wing economic policies of the last five decades.
“Boric’s approach combines fiscal responsibility with a more competitive economy, better social protections and working conditions, equality and social inclusion and protection of the environment,” he argued about the 36-year-old South American president’s project.
Boric’s Chile, economic laboratory
In line with this argument, the Columbia University professor stresses that “with a divided politics and the hard work underway to create a new constitution, Boric will need all the skills he has already shown: listening and communicating, empathy and understanding depth of Chilean history and culture.
“It is making Chile again the social, economic and political laboratory of the world”, concludes Stiglitz.
Last December, with a resounding electoral victory against the far-right José Antonio Kast in the presidential runoff, Boric became the youngest president of the country at the time he took office, as well as the most voted head of state in Chilean republican history.
Leader of a coalition between the Broad Front and the Communist Party, Boric promotes a “transforming” government program, whose goal is to dismantle the neoliberal structure of the Chilean economy to make way for a social welfare system, similar to that of some European countries. .
For some, Boric’s government marks the beginning of a new political era that ends with the post-dictatorship transition, as it is the first administration that is not part of the two great blocs that governed since the return to democracy in 1990 and he is the most leftist since Salvador Allende (1970-1973).
In this way, Chile is positioned as the nucleus of outstanding political processes at a global level, highlighting in 2021 the inclusion of the first president of the Constitutional Convention -the body in charge of drafting the country’s new fundamental charter-, Elisa Loncón, in the list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
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Boric garners international applause in Time, while surfing criticism in Chile