Wow, EPN not only needs a new PR team, he also is in desperate need of a new speechwriter. Now I admit being EPN’s speechwriter right now must be tough, given all the bad news and corruption allegations coming out in the last year, but man oh man you got to do better than claiming “Hay países peores que México” or in English, there are worse countries than Mexico.
To be fair he was talking specifically about the economy and not Mexico as a whole, but still…there’s got to be a more positive spin than that. Here is his exact quote: “No en los niveles lamentablemente que quisiéramos, no en el tamaño del crecimiento que hubiésemos querido llevar a esta fecha. Otras economías del mundo les ha ido peor, han enfrentado escenarios todavía más adversos.” (rough translation: We haven’t reached the levels that we wanted or the rate of growth that we would have liked. But other economies around the world have had it worse, they have faced scenarios even more daunting than Mexico)
This reminds me of a story that I once read about Brazil and Argentina. It is probably apocryphal, but it’s popularity is a testament to something real between the two countries. Argentina had adopted a currency board arrangement with the US dollar, where one Argentine peso was equal to one US dollar (and the government couldn’t print more pesos than they had dollars in reserve…supposedly..but that’s another story). The dollar was exceptionally strong, which was destroying the competitiveness of Argentine exports. At the same time, the Brazilian government was forced to devalue their currency and the President went on TV and told listeners: “I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we have to devalue; the good news is that this will hurt Argentina more than us.” I actually don’t think it was bad news at all for Brazil because it was a boon for exports, but it cracks me up that so-called negative news can be spun as “well at least we aren’t as bad as those other countries…”