Mario Vargas Llosa in Chile

Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, has given an interview to Chile’s La Tercera newspaper in which he criticizes the policies of President Sebastian Piñera, warning that “economic development by itself is not enough.”

Vargas Llosa, who has visited Chile three times in the past two years, had supported Piñera’s candidacy and was impressed with the emphasis his presidential campaign had given to education. The subsequent protests by students had surprised him, he said.

“My impression is that Chile is undergoing problems it did not have before and which are, in good part, a product of its development,” he said and observed that while economic indicators were good, the Piñera government’s approval ratings were very low (26 percent, according to a poll released six months ago by the Centro de Estudios Publicos). “The problem is that development should not be measured strictly by economic indicators, statistics.  This is one of the great errors of a purely economistic conception of development.”  Equal opportunity is a fundamental principle of any democracy, he said.

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