|Economics & Politics|
|ON March 24 the Portuguese
prime minister, Jose Socrates,
resigned after all the opposition
parties rejected his austerity
plan, which included slashing
pensions by more than €1,500 a
month and more cuts in tax benefits.
His government´s collapse triggered an
election, which could not take place for
another two months. During the interim
Socrates stayed on as acting prime
minister and reached an agreement
with the European Union and the
International Monetary Fund for a
€78bn bailout. The terms? Almost
exactly the same as those proposed by
him and rejected by the Portuguese
parliament six weeks earlier.
When the elections finally took place
the political class could sense a certain
degree of cynicism. The Portuguese
president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, warned
voters they could not complain about
|CASH CON BY
|WATCHING the evolution
of economic discussion
Washington over the
past couple of years
has been a disheartening experience.
Month by month, the discourse
has gotten more primitive;
with stunning speed, the lessons
of the 2008 financial crisis have
been forgotten, and the very ideas
that got us into the crisis - regulation
is always bad, what´s good
for the bankers is good for
America, tax cuts are the universal
elixir - have regained their
And now trickle-down economics
- specifically, the idea that
anything that increases corporate
profits is good for the economy -
is making a comeback.
On the face of it, this seems
bizarre. Over the past two years
profits have soared while employment
has remained disastrously
high. Why should anyone believe
that handing even more money to
corporations, no strings...
Chile edges out Mexico, Peru holds Uruguay
BUENOS AIRES AFTER Brazil and Argentina had served up dull fare in their opening matches, the Copa America finally caught fire on Monday as Chile came from behind to edge Mexico and take command of Group C, where fancied Uruguay were held by Peru.
Four draws in five matches, an average of barely a goal per game and sub-zero temperatures had left fans less than impressed and questioning if they would see anything approaching samba-style football from anybody over the coming month, Brazil included.
Chile answered the question emphatically enough - though Arturo Vidal’s winner against the Mexicans, a towering header from a corner, had a rather Anglo-Saxon, rather than latino, hallmark to it.
That did not worry the Roja, who had been staring an embarrassing defeat in the face at half-time after Nestor Araujo put a youthful Mexican side into a 40thminute lead.
The Mexicans elected to rest most of their senior squad having just lifted the CONCACAF Gold Cup to give their youngsters some tournament experience.
But “El Tri”, regular special guests at the South American event, eventually gave up the ghost after Esteban Paredes cancelled out Araujo’s effort at the Del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan before a 25,000 crowd.
Vidal then bulletted home a header from Matias Fernandez’s corner to cheer the large travelling Chilean contingent as they moved to within sight of a place in the quarter-finals.
“The opening match is always a real humdinger so it’s great to get off to a winning start,” said Vidal.
Alexis Sanchez, who is expected to be one of the stars of the tournament, said Chile had not lost heart after going behind and were rewarded for their tenacity.
“We kept calm and as a result the goals eventually came to enable us to turn things around,” he said.
Mexico assistant coach Luis Fernando Tena suggested the Chileans, who came here on the back of five unbeaten friendlies, could potentially go one better than four previous final defeats.“They have great players, they are a solid and strong team.
They know each other well and this team can go a long way at the Copa.
I think this is the best team I have seen at the tournament,” he said.
World Cup semi-finalists Uruguay earlier found Peru a tough proposition and it was left to Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to rescue a 1-1 draw after Paolo Guerrero opened the scoring midway through the opening period.
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, up against compatriot Sergio Markarian, had hoped for far more but conceded simply that “today we couldn’t achieve what we wanted.” Markarian, in his first tournament as Peru coach, was happy with the result and performance.“ It’s a good result - it was important to get off the mark,” he told journalists.
While Chile celebrated their win, Argentina and Brazil were left to plot improvements after failing to see off Bolivia and Venezuela