December 8, 2013
SUNDAY COLUMNISTs ROUND-UPMonday, September 2, 2013
Views and opinions from yesterday’s newspapers
Clarín’s Eduardo van der Kooy on the Peronist flight:
Peronists are definitely working toward succeeding Fernández de Kirchner in 2015. The major leaders of the party think that the October midterms will be even worse for the government than the primaries.
At the moment, the only Peronist politicians who could aspire to the presidency are Daniel Scioli, Sergio Massa and José Manuel de la Sota. The president lacks a viable candidate.
Meanwhile, lesser Peronist leaders in Greater Buenos Aires keep abandoning the national project to flock to Massa’s Renewal Front. This constant flight from the Kirchnerite ranks may not be decisive right now, but it represents the unmistakeable sign of a Peronism that is willing to shift allegiances.
Buenos Aires province is where all these trends start — it will be later replicated in other major cities and ultimately in less populated areas. Peronist leaders only care about one thing: their own survival. They are not afraid of jumping from the boat before it sinks.
To make matters worse, Fernández de Kirchner is trapped by (Domestic Trade Secretary) Guillermo Moreno’s unpredictability, (Deputy Economy Minister) Axel Kicillof’s arrogance, and (Economy Minister) Hernán Lorenzino’s uselessness.
Sergio Massa will probably attack the Domestic Trade Secretary ahead of the October’s election. Moreno, like La Cámpora, is one of the most criticized aspects of the government. The political organization created an unnecessary problem with LAN.
Since the conflict got out of hand and threatened to harm the president’s already battered image, the government suddenly changed strategy. It tried to make it look as if the objective had always been to get more local flights in Chile and Brazil.
The problem is that Argentina’s airline is not ready for such a workload.
La Nación’s Joaquín Morales Solá on making concessions:
Overwhelmed by the polls, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has ordered a subtle change of strategy for the government. Now she is back to the old system of pre-electoral kindness. She did the same thing in 2007 and 2011, soon before being elected president. In both cases the calm was short-lived and soon confrontation reared its head again.
But this time her actions have given signals that she has read and understood the results of the election. The president recently sent border guards to the most dangerous areas of Greater Buenos Aires. She also adjusted the income tax floor to soften the catastrophic blows of inflation. Nonetheless, her government’s characteristically offensive tone can be perceived under the blanket of apparent kindness.
Polls are the president’s nemesis these days. Almost all show Sergio Massa beating Martín Insaurralde by between eight and 12 percent in Buenos Aires province. Massa’s positive image has increased between 15 and 20 percent.
This explains her recent changes. It is clear that the modifications to the income tax were spurred by the recent electoral defeat. For months, the president stubbornly refused to raise the floor of the tax, even when several unions mobilized to protest.
Página/12’s Horacio Verbitsky on the Media Law hearings:
The Supreme Court recently spent two mornings hearing arguments for and against the full implementation of the Broadcast Media Law. The event represents a huge step toward transparency in the public debate of matters of general interest.
The Clarín Group and the national government each got their say. The media conglomerate’s approach revolved around how its profit would decline if it were forced to comply with the law. But it was unable to prove how a decline in profit would affect its freedom of speech. One of the amici curiae on Clarín’s side claimed that it was the only company capable of criticizing the government thanks to its huge revenue.
It is clear that they have a conservative position regarding the autonomy of the company that is unable to conceive any kind of limit. For their part, those who represented the general interest argued that everyone has the right to express themselves and society has the right to receive information from a wide range of sources, while the state has the obligation to facilitate such liberties. The Broadcast Media Law is the government’s tool to comply with its obligations.