2015年3月3日 星期二

8 reasons why we'll miss José Mujica (烏拉圭總統何塞.穆希卡)

2013年本Blog即談José Mujica。現在他似乎退休了,報載千人夾道歡送之。

8 reasons why we'll miss Jose Mujica, Uruguay's maverick president
After five years in power, the man described as the “world’s most humble president” has stepped down from office in Uruguay.
In a ceremony yesterday, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, who leaves with approval ratings of nearly 70 per cent, handed over his presidential sash to Tabare Vazquez.
Here are eight reasons why he’ll be missed:

1. He donated 90 per cent of his salary to charity

Mujica wasn’t known as the world’s humblest president for nothing. The former president shunned the luxurious lifestyle and was usually seen in casual clothes for official ceremonies and rarely, if ever, wore a tie. By donating 90 per cent of his salary to charity, his income was roughly equal to the average wage in Uruguay - $775 (£485) a month.
I have a way of life that I don’t change just because I am a president. I earn more than I need, even if it’s not enough for others. For me, it is no sacrifice, it’s a duty.
  • Jose Mujica

2. And lived on a farm

With just his three-legged dog Manuela and two police officers for security, Mujica lives on a small farm on the outskirts of the capital Montevideo. In a 2012 interview with the BBC, he explained: “I’m called ‘the poorest president’, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more,” he says.

3. He drives a 1987 blue VW Beetle

While most presidents travel around in chauffeur-driven saloon cars, the former Uruguayan president drove his own beat-up Beetle. He was even offered $1m for the car by an Arab Sheikh, but said he didn’t give the offer “any importance”.

4. And picks up hitch-hikers

It’s not often you get picked up by a world leader, but when Gerhald Acosta was walking between his home town and his place of work he was given a ride by Mujica and his wife.

5. He legalised marijuana

But for practical reasons rather than ideological ones. “150,000 people smoke [marijuana] here and I couldn’t leave them at the mercy of drugs traffickers,” he explained. “It’s easier to control something if it’s legal and that’s why we’ve done this.”

6. He leaves the economy in rude health

As well as backing a range of social policies like legalising abortion and gay marriage, the president leaves behind a legacy of economic health. While neighbouring Argentina and Brazil have suffered downturns in recent years, Uruguay has witnessed rising salaries and a historically low unemployment rate.

7. He’s just not like other politicians

As soon as politicians start climbing up the ladder, they suddenly become kings. I don’t know how it works, but what I do know is that republics came to the world to make sure that no one is more than anyone else. You need a palace, red carpet, a lot of people behind you saying ‘Yes, sir.’ I think all of that is awful.
  • Jose Mujica

8. And all that after being shot six times and being put in jail for 14 years for opposing the country’s former dictatorship

“I’ve no doubt that had I not lived through that I would not be who I am today. Prison, solitary confinement had a huge influence on me. I had to find an inner strength. I couldn’t even read a book for seven, eight years - imagine that!”


A precedent for presidents

Does your president have a good public image? Can anyone compare with the outgoing President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, who lives in a run-down farmhouse and drives an old volkswagen? We took a trip across the Fifth Floor through Kenya, China, Ukraine and Argentina to look at presidential styles.

Release date: 27 Feb 2015




  1. BBC News - Jose Mujica: The world's 'poorest' president


    Nov 14, 2012 - This is the residence of the president of Uruguay, Jose Mujica, whose lifestyle clearly differs sharply from that of most other world leaders.

  2. José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica Cordano (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse muˈxika]; born 20 May 1935) is President of Uruguay since 2010. A former urban guerrilla fighter with theTupamaros and a member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, Mujica wasMinister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 and a Senator afterwards. As the candidate of the Broad Front, he won the 2009 presidential electionand took office as President on 1 March 2010.

    He has been described as "the world's 'humblest' president", due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 (£7,500) monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.[3][4]

  3. 烏拉圭總統何塞.穆希卡(Jose Mujica)捐出九成薪做慈善用途,他和太太住殘破農舍,被譽為世界最窮的總統。
  4. Uruguayan president Jose Mujica receives $1m offer for his blue Beetle

    The leader says that an Arab sheikh wanted to buy the car which has become a symbol of his humble style

    Uruguayan president Jose Mujica
    Uruguay’s president Jose Mujica in his Volkswagen Beetle. ‘Human beings have a bit of fetishism; we need certain material symbols,’ he said. Photograph: Natacha Pisarenko/AP
    The Uruguayan president Jose Mujica says he has received a million-dollar offer to buy his blue 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, which has become a symbol of his austere lifestyle.
    The man once nicknamed “the poorest president in the world” told the Uruguayan weekly Busqueda that an Arab sheik offered $1m for the humble car.
    When asked about the reported offer at a news conference, Mujica, who is standing down as president, said: “That’s what they said to me, but I didn’t give it any importance.”
    In an informal chat, Mexico’s ambassador to Uruguay recently suggested to Mujica that he auction the Beetle in Mexico and predicted he could get 10 four-wheel-drive trucks for it, according to a spokesman for the Mexican embassy who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to talk with the press.
    Mujica, a former leftist Tupamaro guerrilla leader, said that if he got $1m for the car, he would donate the money to a scheme for the homeless. If he got trucks for it, he said, they could go to Uruguay’s public health office or his campaign workers.
    The president said he would gladly auction the Beetle because he has “no commitment to cars” and he joked that he did not sell it because of his dog Manuela, famous for only having three legs.
    Asked why someone would pay a fortune for his little car, Mujica said: “Human beings have a bit of fetishism; we need certain material symbols.” He noted that he keeps a hammer and shovel that belonged to his father. “They are little things to the world, but are worth a lot to you.”
    Mujica gained world renown when he assumed Uruguay’s presidency in 2010 and declared that his entire wealth amounted to the 1987 Beetle. The ramshackle farm he lives on was in his wife’s name.
    Since then, in his official declarations of wealth, he has included the farm and he has been earning about $11,000 a month as president, of which he donates 20% to his political movement. Earlier this year he put his total wealth at $322,883, with the flower farm reportedly worth $108,000.