May 18, 2013
Fresh funding angst between BA province, gov’t
Buenos Aires province Cabinet Chief Alberto Pérez’s demand yesterday for the national government to “reconsider” and “revisit” its federal revenue-sharing policy both with the province and Greater Buenos Aires, which has a separate jurisdiction, was dismissed by Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo yesterday.
In an interview published in local media yesterday, Pérez affirmed this “complex” issue “must go back on the table,” because Buenos Aires is a “handicapped province.”
“We are a province plagued by” deficit, the cabinet chief said, claiming that with the right revenue policies from the federal government, “we would be able to balance our budget without help.”
Pérez, who is a close ally of Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli, maintained that the provincial government had “never had problems with Government House” but “paradoxically, other provinces receive more than us.”
Randazzo yesterday indirectly dismissed the prospect of re-opening discussions, attributing Pérez’s statements to the interests of “media groups,” rather than “representing the majority,” and expressing concern that “opposition leaders and other governments enjoy incredible media impunity.”
The minister thus identified the provincial cabinet chief with the opposition Clarín group.
The minister proceeded to redirect recent media criticism over the deteriorating condition of the Buenos Aires-Mar del Plata train line from himself to the Daniel Scioli administration, claiming: “This is a service provided by and the responsibility of Buenos Aires province.”
The minister also hit out at TN news channel, which belongs to the Clarín Group, alleging it “lies, misinforms and tried to confuse viewers in a deliberate and shameful manner” after it aired a report on the condition of the train line on Monday.
Randazzo insisted that he had not “promised” a transport revolution, suggesting rather that “if all the changes materialize, we face the prospect of a revolution.”
Buenos Aires province Infrastructure Minister Cristina Álvarez Rodríguez yesterday responded to Randazzo’s statements about Scioli, calling for “prudence and respect” from the minister and suggesting he was “over-reacting.”
Herald with Telam, DyN