May 19, 2013
Boudou defends re-decorating costs, attacks Cobos
Vice-president Amado Boudou yesterday defended the purchase of furniture for his office for an alleged sum of “100,000 pesos” and complained about media coverage of the purchases.
Boudou, who denied that the purchases had been made with emergency funds, justified the change in the vice-president’s office as stating that the quarters “were in a truly terrible state.”
Speaking in media interviews yesterday, the Senate speaker also took advantage of the attention to criticize his predecessor, Julio Cobos, by insisting that it was “a lie” that the former veep had often flown on state business and that instead Cobos had taken several “personal trips” on which he invited “whoever he wanted.”
In his comments yesterday, Boudou confirmed that he had spent 100,000 pesos on redecorating the Vice-President’s office, insisting that he used “the normal mechanisms and processes according to the law,” complaining that “the media seems to think I spent this money to take this furniture home.”
In terms of his predeccessor, Boudou turned up the criticism, stating that, according to a military report, “in 2011, (Cobos) used 10 planes; in 2010, 31; in 2009, 23; in 2008, 21; and in just one month in 2007, he used five planes.”
According to the vice-president, “none of this trips were related to government: they were personal trips, on which he took a committee of 28, 15, 17, 31 people, relatives, friends, sometimes a businessman.”
“Each time Cobos asked for a plane, the national government gave it to him. What is most interesting is that we have yet to hear about Cobos’ retinues that accompanied him, on which he would frequently invite anyone he wanted; he often travelled with his wife and daughter,” said Boudou.
The vice-president will today travel to Ecuador to participate as an observer in Sunday’s elections in that country. Boudou will of course not go unaccompanied: sources suggest a group of 120 Argentines will join the veep on his trip.
The website MDZ yesterday reported a secret meeting between Cobos and Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli. Scioli is technically a Kirchnerite, but he is seen as a potential presidential candidate in 2015 even without the President’s blessing.
Herald with DyN