As the most powerful man in Uruguay, you’ve got to think a few presidential perks come along with the office. No waiting at La Silenciosa, express check-in at Carrasco, maybe your very own chivito at La Pasiva for starters.
How about a nice vacation home in Punta del Este? It turns out Jose Mujica and his presidential predecessors have all had such a coastal retreat at their disposal, but most of them have never used it.
The infamous residence on Roosevelt Avenue was originally built by an Argentine businessman who in turn gave it as a gift to then-President Luis Batlle Berres in 1948. Over the ensuing sixty-three years, most Uruguayan presidents have shunned the residence opting instead to vacation with family and friends. Marcelo Gallardo of El Pais says every incoming administration has waffled over selling the Punta home, until newly-elected Mujica took office.
Last February, the Casa Presidencial hit the market, and sixteen months later a buyer was found. La Gaceta says Banco de la Republica is buying the presidential home plus two other adjacent properties for US$2.7 million. The bank plans to transform the property into offices and open a Cultural Center, presumably to commemorate the Punta Presidential Palace that sat empty for the better part of six decades. (Full Story in Spanish)