In CanadaThursday, June 24, 2010
CFK: Euro-zone countries apply policies similar to those that led Argentina to disaster
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner arrived in Canada earlier and gave a speech at the International Trade Union Confederation (CSI) Global Summit, being held in Vancouver, during which she assured that "many Euro-zone countries today have applied the same policies that led Argentina to disaster," stating, also, that "it's an inescapable responsibility of the government to intervene in the financial system." The Head of State was invited by the main trade union international organization. Later this week, she will travel to Toronto to attend the G20 Summit.
Fernández de Kirchner was welcomed by the President of the CSI, Austrialian Sharan Burrow, and at 8pm she began her speech before the union's leaders at the Vancouver Conventions Centre.
During her speech, CFK said that "a very similar reality to the one lived by Argentina in 2001 can be observed in the world," also stating that the crisis in Argentina was preceded by "adjustment policies very similar to those applied in the Euro-zone."
"In Argentina, that old recipe was applied, and the workers, who were not invited to the party, were made responsible of everything that came afterwards," CFK criticized.
"We restructured the country's sovereign debt on the basis of its needs, avoiding the adjustment on the workers and on consumption. We bet on the domestic market's growth in order to generate an increase in the GDP so that we could honour international commitments."
"In order to live, one must have wages, security, education, and health," she stated, and added that "if the GDP decreases, debt cannot be paid off."
"That would be absolutely illogical," she continued. "Many Euro-zone countries today have applied the same policies that led Argentina to disaster. The government should strongly intervene in the market because it is not a good resources producer. It's also an inescapable responsibility of the government to intervene in the financial system," CFK advised.
"The most important thing during the (Argentine) crisis was to maintain the work link (...) The government was present helping with investments."
"Rebuilding a job post that a telegram destroyed in an instant takes a lot of time. That is why my obsession was to maintain the link between the worker and the company. The unemployment ghost strongly impacted families, consumption, and business investments," the president said.
"The creation of more and better jobs is the only way out of a crisis," she assured, and she bet on definitely closing "a stage of capitalism."
"We need to begin to revert the non-egalitarian development that exists between the North and the South. We confronted the global crisis practically without modifying the unemployment rate. Heterodoxy and creativity are required in order to respond adequately to problems. Labour implemented a programme that contemplated workers' wages in companies with problems," CFK stated.
In Argentina, "more than 92 percent of the debt has been restructured and only vulture funds have been left out," Fernández de Kirchner said, making reference to the current debt-swap, and she assured that "workers' purchasing power has been recovered."
The president also mentioned that "the minimum wage in Argentina is the most important in Latin America. More than 2,000 collective labour conventions have been celebrated freely. We increased the minimum wage from 200 to 1,500 pesos, as well as rising retirement values."
The Labour Ministry announced that the organization based its decision to invite the President on the economic and social policies the government applies, and in her previous participation in other organizations' summits such as the International Work Organization and the G20.
Fernández de Kirchner is joined by: Labour Minister Carlos Tomada, Jujuy province Governor Walter Barrionuevo, Salta province Governor Juan Manuel Urtubey, Santiago del Estero Governor Gerardo Zamora, La Rioja's Governor Luis Beder Herrera, San Juan's Governor José Luis Gioja, the head of the CGT labour confederation Hugo Moyano and the head of the taxi's union Omar Viviani.
Once in Toronto, Economy Minister Amado Boudou and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman will also join the President.