December 12, 2013
CFK champions market regulation at G20 gathering
As the G20 summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, drew to a close yesterday, President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner expressed satisfaction with having two topics proposed by Argentina added to the summit’s final document: the need to regulate bank capital movements and financial flows, and the introduction of a global system in the matter of sovereign debt restructuring.
Moreover, she stressed the explicit rejection of labour flexibilization as a tool to overcome crises.
During a press conference yesterday, the president said that “the ‘no-intervention in Syria’ prevailed” during the final meeting, adding that she suggested United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send “a humanitarian mission” to that country. The summit was described by Fernández de Kirchner as both “positive” and “intense.”
Fernández de Kirchner said she was “pleased” with the outcome of the summit although the matter of “vulture funds,” as she likes to refer to hedge funds that buy debt from developing countries at a steep discount in order to then file lawsuits to get the full amount, would not be included in the summit’s final document because the United States opposed.
Argentina is facing a legal dispute with creditors that demand a 1.2 billion-dollar payment over defaulted bonds more than a decade ago. Following a recent unfavourable ruling by a US court, the national government hopes the US Supreme Court will take the case and rule against hedge funds.
In this sense, Fernández de Kirchner highlighted that France supported Argentina’s case by presenting itself before court as an amicus curiae.
The president praised that the document referred to the need to take into account the sustainability of a country facing an economic crisis when defining their debt payment schemes, as well as a change in nomenclature adopted when talking about tax havens in Spanish. The head of state noted that they will not longer be referred to as “paraísos fiscales” (tax havens), but “guaridas fiscales” (literally, tax dens).
The president remarked that the summit that ended yesterday has been one of the “most intense” since she takes part in these encounters, and stressed that “the final document has substantial changes and substantial amendments in relation to the previous G20 documents.”
Close to Putin
The family picture saw Fernández de Kirchner standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders held a formal meeting yesterday, although they had already walked together on Thursday, where they both agreed about the non intervention in Syria.
The president once again insisted on the need to have the United Nations regain a leading role in the conflict.
“We should try once more the diplomatic way,” said the President, who commented that during the G20 debate on the Syrian situation, “the majority opinion” was in favour of a “non-military” intervention in the Arab country.
The president told reporters that during her meeting with Putin the Russian leader told her he received a letter from Pope Francis. “He had it next to him and I asked him about it in my Tarzan-like English, but he understood perfectly,” said the president as she described her knowledge of the English language.
“I think the letter was very important,” she said on the missive sent by the pope urging Putin and G20 leaders to abandon the “futile pursuit” of a military solution in Syria.
The president also rhetorically asked about the difference between killing someone with chemical weapons and doing the same with bombs or missiles, stressing that more people have died because of fire weapons.
Not a spokesperson for Obama
At the beginning of the summit, Fernández de Kirchner was quoted telling a reporter to “if you see Obama walking around the halls go and ask him” about his decision not to include the “vulture fund” issue in the document.
This controversial statement was followed by another one yesterday: “President Obama has made a decision, I think you are all aware of what his opinion is and I will not repeat it for you. I don’t have to, I am not his spokesperson and I don’t want to be that either.”
She then recalled she talked to Obama on Thursday night because they ran into each other but only exchanged friendly opinions. “It would be inappropriate to ask him (about the Argentine debt and US courts) while walking around the halls. It is a sovereign country,” she added.
Herald with DyN, Télam