According to recent opinion polls, a large majority of the population, including more than 80% of those who voted for the ruling Peronist coalition last November, want the government to reach an agreement with the Fund international currency. They fear that without one, Argentina will suffer a collapse similar to that of Venezuela, which has driven six million people from a once relatively prosperous country that its rulers have turned into a deadly, impoverished and disease-ridden backwater. It’s hard to say exactly what kind of deal they have in mind, but most probably understand that it must involve much more than the flimsy promise to balance the books by 2025 – when opposition members may well be in power and may therefore be forced to pay the political costs of any belt-tightening nastiness – government spokesmen have just announced.
Although it would appear that a relatively undemanding deal has emerged, whatever happens is more than likely to be attacked by a small group of highly influential individuals who are determined to strike a blow at capitalism by breaking economic ties with much of the world. the rest of the world. At its head is none other than Cristina Fernández de Kirchner who, while in Honduras to attend the swearing in as president of Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, a lady surrounded by notorious anti-Semites who believe that Jews are the source of most of the world’s ills, has attacked “multilateral credit agencies” that favor fiscal discipline and, she says, are in cahoots with drug cartels. She also accused, once again, judges who frown on corruption of behaving like the military putschists of not so long ago, for on occasion some have ruled against politicians, including so-called progressives, who had found themselves adrift. .
All this suggests that Cristina, who enjoys the enthusiastic support of many in the government officially led by Alberto Fernández, wants Argentina to categorically refuse to make any effort to appease the IMF by drawing up a workable recovery plan Kristina Georgieva and Gita Gopinath would ready to approve. She apparently thinks it would be better for her to see the country sink even deeper into the quagmire it is struggling in than to risk the political capital it still retains by cutting government spending sharply, especially in the slum. depressed from the province of Buenos Aires. belt that gets him millions of votes. She assumes that she will succeed in persuading the population that all the many misfortunes that await her must be blamed on the arch-villain Mauricio Macri and his cronies in the IMF, the United States, Western Europe, Japan. and the global financial community.
Cristina’s chances of success in this endeavor seem slim, but she’s clearly so desperate that she’ll try just about anything she thinks will help her avoid being jailed for life for corruption or, which surely a more attractive result would be for her to seek refuge in Cuba or in any other country that would not be willing to extradite her.
It turns out that the current vice president’s transformation into a vehement enemy of what in most parts of the world is considered economic reason is entirely due to her own personal issues with the law. If she hadn’t decided first to accept her husband’s theft and, after his death, to raise even more money and help her subordinates acquire hundreds of valuable properties here and abroad , she probably would have remained the feisty one but, overall, she was moderately sane before the temptation came upon her. Until then, she certainly didn’t seem opposed to capitalism.
Unfortunately for millions of men and women, Cristina’s drama is now that of Argentina. For her, nothing matters except her well-being and that of her children. For this to change, those reluctant to link the fate of the country to that of Cristina should deprive her of the political power she continues to have, but the man best suited for this, Alberto, is so afraid of her. that he obeys almost all of her whims, as do many other Peronists who have gotten used to letting her decide as long as she lets them go about their business, probably because they think she still has enough voice in his bag to force them to step up.
The most serious economists believe that what Cristina and her supporters want is pure madness, that telling the IMF where to go would have a devastating effect on the country by depriving both the public sector and the business community already pressed for any access to the money markets on which almost all activities depend. Would it be worth bankrupting the country to mark what Kirchnerians and some left-wing fellow travelers would consider useful points of debate against the odious “neoliberals”? Cristina and her underlings obviously think it would, but few others have the same priorities. For most people, being told that a wicked world is to blame for everything that happens here is little consolation. They would much rather see the men and women in power make a genuine attempt to take matters into their own hands and prevent the country from falling into the precipice that sober economists say awaits.
Optimists tell themselves that Cristina and company are resigned to seeing Alberto make a deal with the IMF which, whatever its conditioning, forces the government to cut public spending (which it would have to do with much more ferocity s ‘he defaulted on the money owed to the financial watchdog), but want people to remember that they did their best to defend the interests of the people. Given the habit of Peronist governments to create an internal opposition capable of profiting from the setbacks suffered by the president and, in doing so, making things more difficult for their political rivals, those who think so could have right, but given that the entire Peronist family won barely a third of the votes cast in the recent legislative elections, such a scheme would be unlikely to work.
As for the pessimists, they think that Cristina and her friends really came to the conclusion that it was better for them all to become revolutionaries and, after cutting ties with the IMF, wage a propaganda war against “the empire”. American and its many outposts in hopes of retaining the support of those who would suffer the foreseeable unpleasant consequences of what they would call a declaration of independence.
Is this what awaits Argentina? We should soon know the answer to this disturbing question. As with Central Bank reserves, time is running out and large payments are coming due. This is why the gap between the free market exchange rate and the official rates is widening and the country risk index is rising higher and higher into the stratosphere, which makes people who are tired of it to be held hostage by Cristina’s legal problems really very nervous.
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