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In a harsh note, El País de España points to 'Alberto Fernández's inability to dismiss an undersecretary'


The criticism is for the continuity of Federico Basualdo in Energía. For the newspaper it is a sign of presidential 'weakness'.

05/05/2021 12:17 AM

  • Clarí

  • Politics

Updated 05/05/2021 12:17 AM

The intern

of the Argentine Government reached the pages of the newspaper

El País

de España, which warned about "

a political crisis"

in Argentina from "the inability of President Alberto Fernández to dismiss an undersecretary", referring to

Federico Basualdo

, the Energy official that Martín Guzmán wants to displace and the vice president supports.

"Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner have

collided for the first time in a public way

", says the article signed by the chronicler Enric González that bears a title of

harsh tone for the President

: "Alberto Fernández's inability to dismiss an undersecretary opens a political crisis in Argentina ".

According to what is interpreted by the Spanish newspaper, the Argentine president and "the

powerful vice president

" are facing each other over an apparently minor issue: whether or not the Undersecretary of Energy, Federico Basualdo, who the Minister of Economy dismissed without success, remains in office. .

However, the author clarified in his article that "the underlying issue, in reality, is

the course of economic policy


"Whatever happens with Basualdo, the incident reflects

the weakness of Alberto Fernández

. And it sends disturbing signals for the International Monetary Fund, which demands to contain the fiscal deficit as a condition for restructuring the Argentine debt," the Spanish newspaper highlighted.

The controversy generated from the moment that Minister Guzmán asked Basualdo to resign undoubtedly opened a panorama of political and economic uncertainty, as can be seen from the article: the scandal takes on

international significance


"Guzmán had planned to


electricity and gas

rates several times this year

to reduce the massive subsidies (now around 40% of the invoiced price) and not to continue deepening the budget deficit. Basualdo, faithful to the vice president and La Cámpora, the organization

of the very son

Máximo Kirchner, opposed and considered that with a single increase of 9% in rates (compared to an inflation that will be around 40% in 2021) there was more than enough, "says the text.

And he concludes: "Hence, Guzmán ordered his dismissal. But Basualdo said he was not leaving. And the conflict began."

The outlook, according to the Spanish media, is of a confrontation that could

break the ruling alliance

at a time when Argentina has two open fronts: the pandemic and the debt with the IMF.

According to what has been evaluated by El País, the issue of energy rates

is "crucial"

in determining economic policy.

"For Kirchnerism, it is essential to keep them low due to the

enormous level of poverty

, which already affects almost 40% of the population," he details.

"The low rates have an approximate price of

7,000 million dollars a year

, which the State allocates to subsidize them. And the cost of the subsidy increases with each devaluation of the peso," he adds.

Minister Guzmán, who was appointed by President Alberto Fernández - highlights the Spanish newspaper - "thinks that it is convenient to bring rates closer to real prices and allocate the subsidies saved to public works programs aimed at reactivating employment and the economy."

The harsh note from El País de España about "the incapacity" of Alberto Fernández.


"In Guzmán's environment, they emphasize that cheap energy implies distortions: the rich pay the same as the poor. This means that a wealthy home in Recoleta or Belgrano pays only the equivalent of about six or seven dollars a month for gas and electricity. ", the author pointed out.

The story about the sainete of the dismissal that still was not yet symbolic: "On Friday the dead end was reached. Guzmán announced to the press that Federico Basualdo was leaving. Basualdo was silent and did not move from the office. La Cámpora issued a note saying that everything was false, that Basualdo was still in his post to the full satisfaction of all ".

Likewise, the article rescued the position of the governor of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, whom he also defined as "former Minister of Economy with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and

advisor to the now vice president

for economic affairs."

At this point, he mentioned that the governor said that Basualdo was "an

exemplary official

" and declared that with the 9% rate increase there was already enough.

"The case, for him, was closed. Everyone understood that Vice President Fernández de Kirchner was speaking through Kicillof," he interpreted.

In this arm wrestling that divides the Argentine government, El País indicated that the Minister of Economy

requested "help" from the President

and the Chief of Cabinet, Santiago Cafiero.

"Both fully supported him, but Basualdo continued there," he concludes.

"Incapacity" and "weakness"

The critic undresses Alberto Fernández, pointing out that "he does not have enough power to fire a simple undersecretary."

and that "he was, once again, in a position of weakness."

Even El País reveals a bit the political precariousness of the Government by pointing out that spokesmen for the Casa Rosada said that Federico Basualdo would leave later, "when the controversy had subsided."

"They also noted that Martín Guzmán would accompany the president on his planned tour of Europe, as a sign of the support that Fernández gives to his Minister of Economy."

But the truth is that the tour, which should start in a few days, runs the risk of being postponed for "health reasons" because the Russian vaccines inoculated to Fernández and Guzmán are not recognized by the European Union.

For El País, the underlying problem would in any case be a destabilizing element in a tour whose objective is to achieve a postponement of the debt of 2.4 billion dollars contracted with the Paris Club, which expires this month.

In addition to getting the European shareholders of the IMF to support a restructuring of the Argentine debt (44,000 million dollars) "in very benign terms."

As interpreted by the Spanish newspaper, the current level of energy subsidies would make it very difficult to control the budget deficit, one of the basic conditions posed by the Fund.


Look also

Martín Guzmán got into the K labyrinth and is left in the open

Alberto Fernández shortens the European tour and takes him to Martín Guzmán to resume the debt negotiation

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-05-05

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