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The New York Times loves Cristina!

Sun, Aug 14, 2011

Economy and News


Hey FerFAL,
Love the blog, very helpful, and I’m working my way through the book
right now. It seems the New York Times loves President C(she who shall
not be named):
Wow, they seemed to have skipped over the crime and most of the
ongoing economic problems in Argentina. Makes it seem like a great
place to move to consider what us U.S. citizens are going to face
soon…thanks for everything.

Argentine President Overcoming Doldrums

BUENOS AIRES — President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner unveiled a 10-story-high tribute to Evita Perón last month, dedicating the forged-steel portrait on the side of a government building to the memory of a woman she has often invoked in speeches to supporters.
“Let the symbol of Evita be a symbol for the unity of all Argentines,” Mrs. Kirchner said at the unveiling of the portrait, which was her idea.
Mrs. Kirchner may never achieve the popularity of Mrs. Peron, an actress who married President Juan Perón and became beloved for fighting for social justice before dying of cancer in 1952. But she is fighting to be mentioned in the same breath one day and may have more of a chance now that she appears to be heading toward re-election in October, aided by a splintered opposition and a growing economy that is overshadowing previous concerns about her polarizing leadership style.
The first real test of Mrs. Kirchner’s chances — and of analysts’ predictions that she will win handily — will come Sunday, when the country holds a national primary. Voting is mandatory, and people are allowed to cast their ballots for members of any party, so the results should provide a good indicator of whether Mrs. Kirchner could win Oct. 23 and avoid a runoff.
According to several recent polls, Mrs. Kirchner, 58, is expected to get enough votes to secure a second four-year term without going to a runoff. Her nearest competitor in the polls is Ricardo Alfonsín, a congressman from the Radical Civic Union Party, who appears to be trailing badly.
“The lack of a strong opposition candidate has created the feeling that she is invincible,” said Graciela Romer, a political analyst in Buenos Aires.
The change in perception represents a stunning turnaround for Mrs. Kirchner, who just two years ago seemed a long shot to be re-elected, in part because she clashed with one of the country’s most powerful interests: farmers. But after her husband, former President Néstor Kirchner, died in October, Mrs. Kirchner rode a wave of sympathy and has seen her popularity surge to a record high.
Still, recent losses by candidates from her center-left wing of the Peronist Party in municipal elections in Buenos Aires and Santa Fe — and an inability to field a candidate in an election for governor last Sunday in Cordoba — have shown that anti-Kirchner sentiment remains strong in some quarters, particularly among rural voters. The mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri, won re-election last month with 64 percent of the vote, easily defeating Mrs. Kirchner’s candidate, Daniel Filmus.
The president has also lost backing from many traditional Peronists for steering to the left and for her antibusiness remarks. They have also been troubled that she has filled her ballot with young people who have risen out of her La Cámpora movement, run by her son Máximo, and who support her policy of taxing exports to support social welfare programs. (In Argentina, during presidential elections, candidates for the legislature run on a party ticket with the presidential candidate.)
Federico MacDougall, an economist and political analyst at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires, said that while Mrs. Kirchner was currently “cruising” toward victory, relying so heavily on La Cámpora could backfire if it drives away more conservative Peronists.
In the end, most analysts believe that neither the loss of some party support nor the losses suffered by Mrs. Kirchner’s candidates in local elections will significantly affect her chances.
“These are local elections defined mostly by local dynamics,” said Daniel Kerner, an analyst with Eurasia Group, a political risk consulting firm.
The bigger reason to bet on Mrs. Kirchner, analysts say, is the roaring Argentine economy, which has grown at an average of 8 percent in recent years, with low unemployment and with wage increases — thanks to unions closely aligned with the president — that continue to roughly keep pace with the high rate of inflation. (Private analysts have estimated the rate to be more than 20 percent, while the government says it is less than half as high.)
Mrs. Kirchner effectively continued the economic policies set by her husband, including keeping a relatively cheap peso to make exports more competitive and retaining heavy subsidies on food and fuel to encourage consumer spending. Opposition candidates, including Mr. Alfonsín, the son of former President Raúl Alfonsín, and former President Eduardo Duhalde, have so far failed to persuade Argentines they could offer a more successful economic strategy.
(continue reading here… )

Hi B, thanks for your email.
This is the kind of article that goes to prove that you shouldn’t believe everything you read and do your own research.
Argentina may as well be the best country to relocate to if you can overlook three itty bitty details which are: rampant crime, inflation and corruption. If you don’t have a problem with those three, then Argentina may be the place to relocate to. The first thing you should get used to is nauseating corrupting. We’re usually around the top of the most corruption countries in the planet. Argentina is more corrupt than Tonga, Liberia, Egypt or Mexico.

What I find fascinating is that the media repeat all this nonsense as if it were unquestionable gospel. Its been almost a decade since the current president’s husband took over the INDEC, our index and statistic administration. You’re talking about private firms coming up with two or three times the inflation the government officially claims. What good is any of the claims the government makes if it’s been cooking the books with real inflation being 200% to 300% more than the official one on monthly basis?  Or a country where two out of three (66%) workers are unregistered/informal workers (according to both the gov. and private sector), meaning that they are not even listed as workers, as tax payers nor will they have retirement pensions, what kind of economic boom are we talking about?  “Have you done any sort of activity that could be considered “work”, for at least 2Hs in the last 7 days?” That’s the way they come up with the 9% unemployment rate they are bragging about. The economy booming? Really?
Reporters don’t check their sources, they just go with something that sounds nice and pretty to publish an article that goes along with the liberal feel-good attitude their employer is pushing.

Word of caution regarding Authoritarian Tactics

One tactic that has been used historically in Argentina by whatever tin-pot excuse of a president we have at the time is the idea that they are unbeatable, all powerful and that their reelection is simply unavoidable. No one has been more brutal about this than Mr. and Ms. K.
They created the INADI, something of an antidiscrimination government branch that found a new meaning to the word: If you talk against the government, then that’s discrimination.
To increase their control of the media, the Ks came up with the swiftly approved K media law that basically gives them control over printed press, radio and TV including cable. They already have most journalists and reports in their pocket, and nearly every channel needs advertising from the “Presidency of the Nation” to survive. The last standing stronghold would be conservative media group Clarin. Ms. Noble, the owner of this group has been constantly under attack, even on a personal level. Her adopted kids now adults have been DNA tested against their will, the government claiming they where missing children during the last dictatorship. Even if the DNA proved that not to be true, the harassment still continues.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. The illusion that she cannot be beaten in the next elections is slowly disappearing like recent elections have shown. In fact, Ms. K’s candidate lost the capital city of Buenos Aires to conservative Mauricio Macri who got over  60% of the votes.
Today the “primary” elections take place. This is basically shameful manipulation so that the same of politicians get rid of the smaller candidates along with the chance of them gaining any power. We shall see what happens soon enough.

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