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Controversial Expression of Regret towards the Impeachment of Deputy Premier Lee

Controversial Expression of Regret towards the Impeachment of Deputy Premier Lee

Posted April. 02, 2004 22:27,   


Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance and Economy Lee Hun-jae announced that he is considering the extension of the expiratory date of May for the venture industry’s primary CBO as the Korea Technology Credit Guarantee Fund’s (KTCGF) general guarantee form.

Lee said, “KTCGF guaranteed the 2,200 billion won primary CBO, published by venture companies to support venture industry in 2001,” in yesterday’s regular briefing held at Gwacheon Government Complex.

However, he also commented, “There is no problem in the healthiness of technological advancement. The government is not considering any additional contribution for technological advancement this year.”

Lee speculated, “Domestic demand is still slowly recovering. However, the export industry is quickly improving and thus, economy recovery is just around the corner. We expect five percent and higher growth this year.”

Considering the prices, he added, “0.3 percent more than government expectation might increase, however, no macro-economic speculation and policy change is needed.”

On the other hand, the fact that Lee expressed his view regarding Roh’s impeachment for “economy misrule and failure” as unreasonable, brought about controversial opinion of “political neutrality.” What Lee said was, “Economic policy and its result can be politically disputed, however, if it becomes a problem of private law, it is regrettable. During the IMF, there were opinions that it should be dealt judiciary, but it was overruled already.”

Lee continued, “When the present government inaugurated, the ‘forest fire’ (SK Global situation, card and household liabilities) was in its peak and even the ‘gale’ (North Korea nuclear crisis, Iraq war, SARS and typhoon ‘Mae-mi’) blew all the time.” His point was that last year’s economic crisis was inevitable.

However, there are criticizers who argue that the justness of the impeachment reasons is for the Constitutional Court of Korea to decide and is not an issue for the Economy deputy premier to discuss. Especially with the complete election on the way, an expression such as this, which is likely to have misunderstanding, should not be said.

Goh Kae-hyun of Citizens’ Coalition for Economic Justice said, “Every branch of the government is there to improve the economy by implementing policies within difficult and satisfactory environments. Turning the reason for the responsibility of policy failure to hard situations is irresponsible.”

Chi-Young Shin higgledy@donga.com