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Beatriz Sarlo: 'The strong personality of Cristina Kirchner and Alberto Fernández, instead of settling disputes, could accelerate them'


The renowned essayist and writer says that there is a 'bipresidentialism'. He defends the actions of the Supreme Court, and the importance of school attendance.

Debora Campos

05/09/2021 17:51

  • Clarí

  • Politics

Updated 05/09/2021 5:51 PM

He says he got used to it. To appointments that are canceled and rescheduled to be canceled again, among other disorders that the pandemic brings as collateral effects. He also says that he

got used to losing friends because of disagreements, but in that the fault is not the pandemic but politics

: "If politics occupies a lot, effectively the distances can be long," says the essayist and critic Beatriz Sarlo avoiding referring to anyone in particular because she knows that the telephone interview on the cold autumn afternoon with


will be read by her own and others.

Then, it generalizes and does not mention either the academic

Soledad Quereilhac

, a researcher at Conicet and the wife of Governor Axel Kicillof, or the editor

Carlos Díaz

, who were included in his testimonial statement before the prosecutor Eduardo Taiano

in the case investigated by the VIP Vaccination Center.

It is a minor delicacy because the episode is behind us and because now the sharp gaze is focused on the present, on the role of the Court, the tensions between the members of the Executive Power, the little role of Congress, the configuration of the opposition and in education as a conflict zone.

Sarlo lends himself to dialogue without avoiding themes, rigorously, with memory and with a sharp sense of humor that is occasionally allowed.

- "I ask you to take a good look at this photo," asked the president on Wednesday during a ceremony in Ensenada, in which the vice president, the head of the Chamber of Deputies and the Buenos Aires governor participated.

What do you see in that photo?

-In that photo he wants to show, and perhaps I succeeded, that there is a relative unity within the national Executive, after having had in recent days some problems with the appointment of secretaries that apparently were wanted by Minister Guzmán and resisted by the vice president, or vice versa because the direction of the problems is no longer known.

So that photo represents what we all want: a more or less concentrated and united Executive Power.

- What do you think are the most serious problems at this time to sustain that unity in the Executive?

- We are facing a phenomenon that could be called a “bipresidentialism”.

I say it in quotation marks and I do not like the word, but what that idea wants to express is that there is an important part of the power that is on the side of the vice president and not the president, although that does not necessarily have to be solved badly because the dialogue.

I am not a catastrophist.

In any case, with a personality as strong as that of the vice president and a personality like that of the president, who is someone used to being second line and was an extraordinary Chief of Staff of Néstor Kirchner for example, that seems really very dangerous to me.

Because instead of settling some disputes, it rather accelerates or deepens them.

- Specifically, are the conditions in place for the ruling alliance to be sustained?

- I prefer to think that, with all the difficulties that this coexistence has, it can be resolved. Because if it were not like that, we would be facing a very serious crisis. These days, the word hit has started to circulate. The vice president used it to refer to the Supreme Court of Justice, which really behaves with exceptional discretion and knowledge. I don't like it when those kinds of words start to sound because I have a lot of historical memory. That is why I say that if that coexistence were to break, we would be in a very serious political crisis and we must remember that this crisis is occurring in a country that is not important for Western geopolitics: Argentina is not important at all. It does not happen in Brazil, which is an important country. Not in Mexico, which has an immense border along its length with the United States.It happens in a country in the southern part of the Southern Cone and that currently occupies the 15th place in the list of countries in the world but starting from the bottom.

- What do you think about the role of Máximo Kirchner?

- My knowledge of Máximo Kirchner is limited to the bill that he presented together with Carlos Heller to sanction a tax on large fortunes that affects 12 or 13 thousand people and that would generate a huge collection. That project seems very interesting to me. A project that the mother did not come up with and that perhaps did not have the repercussion that it should have had because nobody pays too much attention to what is happening in parliament. If politics here did not have this daily obsession to see if Fulano meets with Mengano or Perengano, this project would be interesting because the Argentine tax system forgives the great rich and I say this having paid taxes in many parts of the world where I worked. The difference is that there, a university professor is retained 50% of his nominal salary but, in exchange,It has public health and all the services financed by the State. Here, the Argentine State has been so corrupted and over so long that now it can only serve, and very badly, those who crawl to the doors of a public hospital. This is one of the most serious problems the country has. Let's remember that we are counting the intensive care beds right now. It is difficult to reverse a process of national decline.It is difficult to reverse a process of national decline.It is difficult to reverse a process of national decline.

- Do you think the vaccination campaign is being managed well at this time?

- The only thing that I can analyze is how the results are given by district. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in the city of Buenos Aires, we are vaccinated according to the decades of age, in a completely regular way and in excellent conditions. Anyone knows that I am not a supporter of the PRO, but I am happy for what the City and Horacio Rodríguez Larreta have done in that regard. It is likely that in other municipalities of the province or in some other provinces this is also happening, but it seems to me that these are issues that are defined according to the districts and that is why in the belts of Greater Buenos Aires the pandemic must be much more difficult to address because the living conditions are worse, the overcrowding does not allow to avoid contagions and it is a situation that is neither five nor ten years old.

- You have many years of teaching experience, what do you think about the conflict between the Nation and the city of Buenos Aires regarding the suspension of face-to-face classes?

-I followed the subject with a lot of interest naturally. If I have to pronounce on a teaching model, I am inclined towards presence without a doubt, especially thinking about those who are its protagonists: the poorest children, who do not have a private education, nor a good connection at home, nor parents or mothers who can help them, and who are not a handful but a majority. With all the precautions that protect the teachers, of course, that should be guaranteed by the ministries. Because I completely distrust that those kids who are in secondary school can continue their education at a distance. That speech that insists that we are in the digital world seems more typical of the Scandinavian countries than of Argentina.We know what a connection is in Argentina or a computer that has been ordered to be fixed many times, we know what it is to have parents who did not reach the level of schooling their children are attending and we know what it is to live with grandparents, uncles and cousins ​​in one piece. Let's not say then that school is not necessary: ​​school is absolutely necessary and, the poorer the children, the more necessary it is.

- How do you evaluate the role of the opposition?

–There are several opposition scenarios.

On the one hand, there are the television channels in which some opponents go and make their speeches without trying too much dialogue or proposals for resolving differences with the other parties.

And, on the other hand, there is the parliament, which is not working.

My confidence is that the Congress begins to work actively.

Sometime we have to begin to recognize that we have three powers and parliament is a very important area for conflict resolution and project emergence.

The vice president does not seem interested in making it work as she is also the head of the Senate.

- Is there something you like about the younger generation of politicians like Vidal, Lousteau, Kicillof ...?

- They are not young politicians. And they are not because we have had the last twenty years dominated by very strong figures, such as Néstor Kirchner, and by parties that have been weakening. And politicians are formed in the parties until further notice. In that sense, the PRO was a machine to train bad political actors and its boss - supposedly charismatic - is someone without political training, I'm talking about Mauricio Macri. I am not ashamed to say that he does not have political training because he does not. Larreta, on the other hand, grew up in a political home and that is an advantage that he has. So, we do not have many politicians of that profile because a young politician has to have certain skills built in the field of politics and not in the press. Of the names mentioned,Lousteau is someone who has been trained by circulating between radicalism and PRO and also has a good professional career. And let's not forget the governors: Alfredo Cornejo has a lot of political talent, he has ambitions and the people of Mendoza have forcefully reelected him because apparently his governorships were very good.

- Do you have expectations about the PASO?

–This year's elections are a poll, a big poll at the national level.

- A few weeks ago he said that if you were asked who do you want to govern you ?, you would answer Angela Merkel.

What do you like about her?

-The extreme sobriety in his personal life.

You know that she calls on the phone like any citizen to get her tickets for the Annual Wagnerian Festival and sits in the seat that corresponds to her.

This idea that there are no categories of citizens seems completely attractive to me.

And then there is something she retains from the forced sobriety of her childhood and youth in East Germany.

When this woman came to Berlin and when she became Chancellor of Germany, nothing changed.

- Could someone with that remarkable sobriety seduce the Argentine voters?

-Maybe not because Argentines, myself included, are probably used to certain more showy traits in our political class. But this is not a Latin American characteristic because when you meet Uruguayan and Chilean politicians, they are as sober as if they were Germans.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-05-12

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