Global Security Headlines

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Showdown in Buenos Aires

 La Presidenta Cristina Kirchner who succeeded her husband in power in 2007 seeks US$6.57B of US$ 47.54B in the last pocket untapped - the Central Bank reserves- to pay Argentina´s debts.

Her latest quick-cash scheme set off an institutional crisis when she fired the Central Bank Director, Martín Redrado, last week when he refused the Casa Rosada´s request (demand). The opposition Congress which finally was seated six months after La Presidenta hurried up parliamentary elections from October to June for political advantage (suffering a stunning electoral defeat instead) sought judicial action to block the cash grab since the reserves are under legislative, not executive branch control.

La Presidenta thus has jeopardized the independence of the Central Bank, the last economic institution with any credibility in the country and ran afoul early of the opposition-controlled Congress. Not leaving the judicial branch out of the action, when Judge María José Sarmiento reinstated Mr. Redrado as Central Bank Director, the police visited her house to harass when she affirmed that the Casa Rosada would have to wait till Monday to appeal her decision.

In 2008, La Presidenta emptied the retirement accounts of Argentines to pay for her priorities. Statism is not the prescription for Argentina's woes. World history repudiates this folly.

Before the last Parliament expired, she sought to curb the press and now faces a tumultuous year before her supposed re-election campaign in 2011.Criticism is intolerable.

Argentina suffered an intractable economic challenge before the Kirchners arrived, but husband and wife have benefited handsomely (un vertiginoso crecimiento de la fortuna familiar) while the common Argentine continues to lose ground and faces continual destitution.

As their number one press enemy El Clarín opined recently, the problem now facing the presidential power duo is cómo gobernar sin plata y sin mayorías (how to govern without money and without majorities).

The showdown in Buenos Aires weighs on more than the future of La Presidenta, but the whole of Argentina to finally recover from the humiliating fall in the disastrous economic crisis of 2001.
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