January 11, 2004

Yellow, Blue and White


On Tuesday former Swedish Ambassador Peter Landelius addressed an event organized by the General Business Confederation (CGE) to honour both himself and the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

The CGE ceremony was scheduled as a tribute to Landelius but CGE president Ricardo Faerman slipped in a suprise award to Raoul Wallenberg President Baruj Tenembaum, received at the hands of trade unionist Carlos West Ocampo (writer Marcos Aguinis gave Landelius his). With such a mixed cast, the event was an unusually eclectic affair, mingling economics, human rights and culture.

Despite this diversity and despite his own strong literary bent (the polygot diplomat has translated Ernesto Sábato, Julio Cortázar, Pablo Neruda, Gabriel García Márquez and Mario Benedetti among others from Spanish into Swedish), Landelius – ambassador here between 1997 and 2001 – largely aimed his speech at his CGE hosts. Perhaps its main theme was that despite widespread fears of globalization, small and medium-sized companies actually gained most from regional integration.