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[Editorial] Roh’s Complaints

Posted August. 09, 2006 04:30,   


President Roh Moo-hyun and members of the ruling Uri Party met for the first time in a long time but engaged in a psychological warfare about the “right to appointment of government officials” rather than discussing the economy and people’s livelihood. This shows that it is hard to see them as a responsible ruling camp. Fortunately, however, Uri Party Chairman Kim Geun-tae is contacting the business community to discuss measures to boost investment, which makes people hopeful. The administration and the opposition parties should also join forces and reach an agreement on policies to revive corporate vigor.

However, President Roh reportedly complained about Kim’s pro-business move. The president reportedly criticized Kim and other Uri Party members in a meeting between the government and the ruling party on August 6. When they talked about the appointment of the justice minister, the president said, “Weren’t there things that Uri Party did on its own? Is (Kim’s) New Deal policy in line with the party’s identity? There wasn’t even consultation between the government and the party.”

That is frustrating. An economic recovery is the top priority of state affairs which the president should drive. If he had felt uncomfortable because the ruling party had not consulted with the government in advance, the president should have shown leadership to revive the economy in the government-ruling party meeting which was held after a long interval. Looking at the president picking at the party, rather than coming up with effective measures to facilitate investment and consumption and create jobs, one might question if the government really has the will to recover the economy.

Also, some members of the ruling party criticize Kim, saying, “He undermined the party’s identity,” or “Giving everything corporations want doesn’t guarantee an increased investment.” Many people and corporations find such government and ruling party pathetic.

The opposition parties which blame them behind their backs are just as irresponsible. Although the ruling party proposed to hold a meeting between leadership of the ruling and opposition parties to discuss ways to revive people’s livelihoods, the opposition parties gave a lukewarm response. It seems that this is because the opposition camp lacks alternatives or the ability to persuade the government and the ruling party or the heartfelt care for the public.

Kim’s move should not be limited to meeting with business leaders. He needs to collect voices directly from corporations and speed up reform of the legal institution for deregulation and improvement of business environment. If he fails to quickly bring tangible results, his move would be nothing more than a “nominal effort for an economic recovery.”