Genuine austerity and aid

The resources gathered will only be of help if they are effectively used in favor of earthquake victims

Mexican Congress - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 01/10/2017 09:00 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 09:08
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As published today in this newspaper, several political parties have begun to implement what they themselves call austerity programs for their respective organization, with the purpose – they claim – of gathering funds for the victims of both earthquakes. 

Talking about facts, the National Action Party (PAN) opened a bank account where it has already deposited 50 millions of Mexican pesos to aid the victims. Moreover, they claim they are preparing a mass layoff, a cut on professional fees and wages, and to eliminate the privileges of their leaders.

The National Regeneration Party (MORENA) gathered, until last Friday, 4 million of Mexican pesos out of the 103 its national leader, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, promised to donate. On the other hand, the trust fund “Por los Demás (“For the Others”), has already begun their work in assisting the devastated communities. MORENA has stated they will, in the beginning, directly provide the economic resources to the victims in the state of Oaxaca.

The Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) will hold a meeting this Monday with the members of its National Executive Committee to launch – per their announcement – an austerity program to help the victims. We'll see how it goes.

The rest of the political parties – until the publication of this column – hasn't made public any austerity program of this kind.

It seems the actions and announcements of the political parties is a good start, but we'll just have to leave it there. Doubtlessly, all the resources gathered will only be of genuine help if they are effectively implemented and serve their intended purpose. Only then will the effectiveness of these austerity programs be judged, which needless to say are necessary and always welcomed, coming from our highly discredited and privileged political class.

Because if we've been able to notice something in the last few weeks, is how economically stable are our political parties. The national leadership – as the austerity programs are proof of – have huge sums of money readily available to cover emergencies; which also brings us to the subject of transparency in the handling of resources, without distinction.

Therefore, it's clear these austerity announcements are insufficient and, up to a certain point, hypocritical.

Political parties have, through their factions at the Congress of the Union and the Chambers of the states, the absolute possibility – if not, outright, a privileged position – to launch solid austerity and contingency programs not only for their electoral prerogatives and from their ordinary resources, but from the entire expenditure of the Government structure. We've been over and over again about the need to cut public expenses at all levels. Now more than ever, this has become necessary.


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