[...] The question is on the topic much discussed now - about the president's son, the car he's using and other equipment, pretty expensive... And a question about morality - is it moral in a country like this to be using things like these?
Is it moral to have a salary of, say, $500 a month when the rest of the country is doomed to survive on much less? Et cetera.
- Victor Yushchenko's reply to the Ukrainska Pravda journalist:
[...] You see, I'm not wearing a watch. Even though I've probably got 20 or 15 of them. And until I remain the president, I won't be wearing them.
I don't need these primitive themes, these primitive analyses, I don't want it! I'll only be wearing a trident badge and a neat suit. That's all I need, my friends! [...]
So this is why Yushchenko is always so late for his press conferences. Seriously, though, the most dedicated ones around him will probably hide away their watches, too, now, and the hungry masses will be satisfied.
- Kyiv Post editorial:
[...] In the end, none of this is so scandalous. Yushchenko is at worst another rich, well-connected brat, somewhere on the continuum between the Bush daughters and Paris Hilton. Ukraine will survive.
But it will be interesting to see where the kid ends up in a few years. Will he grow out of this high life nonsense, realize it’s unseemly, and make something of himself? Or will he get worse, and become another sponging, string-pulling, nepotism-exploiting victim of “affluenza,” a parasite who drives half-million dollar cars around his impoverished country and takes off to Ibiza for the weekend?
Time will tell. But we’ve got our eye on that young fellow. We trust his father does, too.
The best thing for Yushchenko, of course, would be to surrender his other three kids to the highly moral public, before it's too late.
Today's International Herald Tribune has a nice roundup of the political situation in Ukraine (via Abdymok):
[...] They say the struggle between President Viktor Yushchenko, a former chief of Ukraine's National Bank, and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, a former business tycoon, over shaping Ukraine's future is delaying much-needed reforms. It could even erode the popular support that put both leaders - who are very different - into power.
Neither politician will admit publicly to clashing with the other. But the openness with which their advisers discussed the problem at a weekend conference in Yalta illustrates that the rivalry and clash of agendas are hampering change. This means that much-needed reforms proposed by the International Monetary Fund and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development - including introduction of clear property rights, the rule of law and privatization - have not gotten very far.
I don't want to defend Juscenko, in contrary I think he's betraying the narod in several ways, but: here in Germany and the rest of EU his behavior concerning his son's privacy would be considered normal. It doesn't have to do with Soviet style or whatever. The public has no legitimate interest in his private life unless it's not illegal. there was a recent EU high court decision where caroline of monaco won against the biggest german newspaper because they showed pictures of her and her kids walking down a street.
I guess that people in Ukraine think he should be more transparent is because privacy rights are somehow disregarded in Ukraine. When I was in Kyiv in spring I saw some newspapers where you could see the bodies of drowned or murdered people on the fronpages - not possible in western Europe. You might have adopted an American understanding of freedom of press.
07.29.05 - 7:28 pm
It's very Soviet to let everyone know that you have 15 to 20 watches - and then to declare you're not gonna wear them as long as your livelihood depends on all those poor, hungry, jealous masses. It's very Soviet to try to make everyone believe you're an average person when you're not - and when you refuse to act like one.ReplyDelete
Soviet - or hypocritical.
As for his son, he did commit a number of violations - speeding, parking in the middle of the street - and the journalists pointed that out, too, in addition to his car's price.
07.29.05 - 11:25 pm