[L-I] Julio FB: please comment this by Reuters on Argentina

Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky Gorojovsky at SPAMarnet.com.ar
Thu Oct 12 21:00:03 MDT 2000


Johannes Schneider has called my attention on this by Reuters on
Argentina. You can find it at CNN's page. It is an elementary
exercise in ideological primitivism, as well as a prime example in
the perverted usage of misleading adjectives and mainstream tenets on
Argentina. Johannes proposed me to comment the piece, but I am so
short of time that I have to ask Julio FB to do some comments. He may
have additional information that may enlighten the debate. On the
other hand, the materials I posted in Spanish deal with all these
events in a much more interesting and profound way. Sorry that I am
so short of time, but well, one must earn a living here.

What I can do is answer questions that may appear after reading this
piece.

=================FORWARDED REPORT===================


                Four Argentine deputies to leave ruling Alliance

                October 11, 2000
                Web posted at: 1:03 PM EDT (1703 GMT)

                BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Reuters) -- Four members
                of Congress will leave Argentina's ruling Alliance,
                which already needs minor party support to obtain a
                lower house majority and is on the verge of a major
                split, one congressmen said on Wednesday.

                The four renegade members of the Chamber of
                Deputies have decided the center-left coalition led
                by President Fernando de la Rua has swung too much
                toward the free-market right since defeating the
                Peronist Party in elections last October, Deputy
                Alfredo Bravo told Reuters.

                The Alliance has been on the verge of breaking up
                since the shock resignation on Friday of Vice
                President  Carlos Alvarez -- leader of the more left-
                leaning Frepaso which is the junior coalition partner
                to De la Rua's centrist Radicals.

                Alvarez quit the Alliance to protest De la Rua's
                muted response to a bribes-for-votes scandal in the
               Senate. He promises the Alliance will hold together,
               but analysts  and some politicians say that the
               coalition's future  could be bleak.

                Bravo said he, two other of Frepaso's 36 deputies and
                one of the 82 Radicals were fed up with both De la
                Rua and Alvarez and will quit the Alliance
                altogether.

                With the withdrawal of the four, the Alliance will
                have 114 members in the 257-member Chamber of
                Deputies.

                The Peronists, who ruled Argentina from 1989-1999
                under President Carlos Menem, have 100 deputies and
                control the Senate.

                FOUR OPPOSE IMF ECONOMICS

                "We oppose the government's economic policy," said
                Bravo, adding that other deputies may also leave the
                Alliance.

                Bravo said that the four plan to form a block, and
                the first vote the new leftist group intends to make
                will be to reject the austere 2001 budget -- which
                the government needs approved to meet fiscal targets
                agreed with the International Monetary Fund, Bravo
                said.

                In fact, the four rebels have been voting against
                major government policy initiatives -- including
                labor market  reform and salary cuts for public
                officials -- for some  months.

                The government is struggling to revive the economy
                after two years of stagnation which shows little sign
                 of  ending.

                It vows to do so without abandoning the strict
                discipline of the one-peso-one-dollar fixed exchange
                rate which has ended long out-of-control inflation
                and  brought economic stability to Argentina since
                its introduction in 1991.

                Now De la Rua faces serving out the rest of his
                three-year term with a possibly hostile Congress.

                Alvarez wanted De la Rua to fire government officials
                who had been forced to deny bribing opposition
                senators to pass a labor market reform bill in April.


                One of the officials he had most criticized -- former
                Labor Minister Alberto Flamarique -- has since
                resigned. But De la Rua has so far refused to fire
                his  secret service chief, who is also on Alvarez's
                black list.

                The Senate was due to meet later Wednesday to
                formally accept Alvarez's resignation.

                With his coalition shaky, the president has shown
                signs of making overtures to the opposition
                Peronists, asking  them to behave responsibly for
                the good of the country.

                Popular frustration growing

                Popular frustration is mounting with a government
                which won election promising to both reduce
                unemployment, which is at 15.4 percent, and clean up
                politics after 10 years of regular corruption
                scandals under Menem.

                Opposition unions plan a half-day strike Wednesday
                afternoon to protest wage cuts and new labor rules
                which make it easier to hire and fire. The government
                backed down last week after a stoppage by truck
                drivers, pressuring oil companies to provide cheaper
                fuel and promising lower road tolls.

                "We're going backward. We're economically worse off
                than we were a few months ago, and we're also going
                backward in the area the Alliance boasted so much
                about -- government ethics," said the union protest
                leader, Hugo Moyano.


Néstor Miguel Gorojovsky
gorojovsky at arnet.com.ar

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