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The videos that show the deplorable state of the Chancellery: floods, broken elevators and lack of air


A former opposition legislator viralized the situation on networks, which has already caused harsh protests from diplomats and complaints from workers. What did the authorities say?

The breakage of some central pipes in

the Foreign Ministry building

once again made visible the

calamitous state

in which a large part of the headquarters of the Foreign Relations of the Argentine Republic finds itself.

The situation is unprecedented and unfortunate for what was once one of the most modern and attractive public administration buildings.

It stands on Arenales and Esmeralda streets, they are the administrative offices of the Chancellery, in front of the San Martín Palace, the headquarters for protocol acts of the foreign service, and which also faces serious maintenance problems: one of its parts has the

basement supported by a structure improvised because it is sinking.

This Monday, as it happened other times but it did not come to light, there was

internal flooding

in the building , the elevators were broken and the photos finally went viral.

It was learned that given the situation, several employees

had to move to other floors because the water blew up the internet and the electrical system, which was a death trap.

Last weekend they reported problems with drinking water.

That of the drums from which they must drink.

To this we must add that the air conditioners have been broken for a long time and the authorities do not have an extra budget to renovate the entire structure in a 15-story building,

in which the windows do not open and it has become a "boiler". according to numerous sources consulted.

It was the former deputy of Together for Change Cornelia Schmidt Liermann, always linked to foreign relations issues, who published on Twitter the state of the building that, this newspaper knows,

is in clear deterioration.

Although the sources consulted flatly deny that the plan to "enhance value" that they said they had in

Santiago Cafiero

's team has begun , the deterioration of the Foreign Ministry has been going on for more than a decade and there were better and worse moments but it has not been invested not a peso.

Sometimes there is not even toilet paper in the bathrooms.

In one of the tweets on Monday, Schmidt Liermann showed the furious fall of water from the roof of the elevator used by foreign ambassadors and the doors opening and closing as if out of control.

"It is not the Fontana di Trevi, nor is it Fischbrunnen in Munich or Manneken Pis in Brussels: it is the elevator of the Chancellery! Is it to offer refreshment to illustrious visitors? Or did they seek to bring the Iguazú Falls to CABA?

 " networks of the Foreign Ministry, the European Union and the German embassy in this country, which have been its main areas of work.

In another tweet, he posted the video of water falling down the stairs of the building, which are also vital in cases of fire.

"Literally: this is how our foreign policy slips away from us!! We are making water. Today at @CancilleriaARG. Where did the good image of the G 20 go? 


Already last September, during a heavy rain, the building suffered a strong internal flood, whose images are shown here.

The situation was also revealed during

the visit of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz who met with Alberto Fernandez

in the only room -Libertador- that had

air conditioning

in Palacio San Martín.

It was on Saturday, January 28.

In the extended meeting that was held in an adjoining room, it was so hot that they had to open the windows and a flag moved by the wind that accidentally hit Vice Minister of Economy Gabriel Rubinstein.

He went in the head and should have been assisted.

The extreme situation had already generated at least

two statements from the diplomatic union

, the Association of National Foreign Service Personnel (APSEN), chaired by Ambassador Gustavo Zlauvinen.

In the first, they complained that President Fernández hired Cristina Kirchner's friend and former senator Maria Cristina Perceval as Special Representative for Feminist Foreign Policy, having so little budget for the Foreign Ministry and

with a subject that five other countries are already dealing with. areas at least in that ministry.

In that statement, in principle more linked to the heat they are suffering, they called for

"urgent reforms that require the facilities"

of the Esmeralda and Arenales building to make it "a decent workplace" for a staff of approximately 4,000 people who take turns between teleworking and face-to-face due to the state of the place.

In the case, the anger according to the employees consulted is that the Secretary of Coordination and Foreign Planning, Pablo Delgado,

told the unions of ATE and UPCN that if it was hot, their members could go home

, which in reality is halfway. because a good part of them have already been teleworking since the coronavirus quarantine.

Nor do the ambassadors with higher salaries who do not have assigned functions go to the offices.

An unusual situation, but one that has been occurring in all administrations.

The middle managers or those with assigned tasks suffer.

In the second communiqué, the APSEN was more harsh and reported that it had filed a complaint with the Superintendence of Labor Risks of the Nation, with the National Directorate of Trade Union Associations and with the General Directorate of Labor Protection so that they send supervision and control of the building so that they were “healthy” and “safe” places.

The diplomats once again denounced "the collapse of the ventilation and refrigeration system" in addition to the "alteration in the quality of drinking water" that comes through dispensers on the floors.

what the authorities say

After consulting the sources of the Ministry led by Cafiero, they delivered to


a plan to "enhance" the building that dates from September 2021, but which according to other sources is not being executed. 

The authorities pointed out that part of the problems of the building built in the '90s is that it has "obsolete systems" today, such as refrigeration systems, and that to this "adds to the lack of maintenance in the last 10 years."

They assured that with the management of Cafiero, since September 2021,

a Value Addition Plan (PPV) was designed

to invest and generate a "tuning to achieve the maximum performance of the cooling towers that it would achieve, in the best of stages, to refrigerate 60% of its capacity".

They recognized that

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the works will be finished "in the middle of February": the "partial disassembly of the tower, extraction of existing fillings, interior cleaning", the "supply and placement of structural pipes, reinforcements, surface treatment of the same , the refibering of the parts of the towers that present breaks, modification of the upper lakes, provision and replacement of Venetian guides.

They affirm that they are going to place "new blinds and placement of new reflective plates" They are going to place "new infill panels."

They are going to be the "boltonería replacement, tower reassembly and start-up".

And it says that there is a broken pipe in the bathroom for the disabled on the ground floor, which is what happened this Monday and was "solved in 45 minutes by the staff of this unit."

look too

The diplomats union denounces "deplorable conditions" and "deterioration" in the Foreign Ministry

The heat, the Germans and a mast at the head of Sergio Massa's two

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-06

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