Santo Domingo.-The long lines and disorders during the traditional deistribution of "Christmas boxes and baskets" by former and sitting presidents, political parties and other institutions reflect a lack of mentality of the ruling class and the misery of a people which has become accustomed to living with handouts.
At the end of every year society is witness to how throngs of people withstand pushing and shoving to receive a Christmas box or basket with foods and beverages worth not more than US$500 (US$11).
As a result of the people's despair this year, groups set out looking for the trucks and containers with the boxes, and have even resorted to ransack them, as occurred in the last few days.
The tradition started by the late president Joaquín Balaguer evolved into the shameful spectacle of piglets, salamis and chickens hurled from motorcades and helicopters to crowds in the thousands at several barrios by one of his most privileged followers, senator Amable Aristy.
The traditions has even been adopted by former president Leonel Fernández, despite his often voiced claim on the need for sweeping institutionalism.