I beg you, crying on my knees: please, oh please, don't feed the children!
August 23, 2011 5:31 PM Subscribe
Seoul mayor issues ultimatum in bid to limit free school lunches.
posted by VikingSword (57 comments total)
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'Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon wants to limit free school lunches to poor children and take students from wealthy families out of the gratis cafeteria line. And he warns that if voters don't back his agenda in a Wednesday referendum, he's going to quit his post.'
'In an emotional news conference Sunday, Oh wiped away tears, calling the issue so important to the nation that if his plan failed, or if too few voters cast ballots to decide the issue, he was prepared to suffer the consequence.
"If my decision today can sow the seeds to bear the fruits of sustainable welfare and true democracy in the country, I have no regret even if I fade into the mists of history."
Then he dropped to his knees and solemnly bowed his head, in what critics term a shameless theatrical appeal to voters. Oh needs a third of Seoul's 8 million voters to cast ballots or the referendum is void.'
'He calls the free-meal plan "welfare populism" that will unduly cost taxpayers while South Korea struggles amid a worldwide financial downturn. This week, President Lee Myung-bak, a fellow party member, said such expensive, populist programs could drag the nation into a fiscal mess similar to those troubling several European nations.
"The Greek financial crisis was sparked by two major rival parties' competition for populism," Lee said during a weekly radio address broadcast nationwide. "Once the government implements a policy, it's difficult to wind it back."'