December 22, 2014
CFK blames business leaders for rise in prices, accuse them of 'looters'
For the seventh time since she first took office in 2007 - renewing her term in 2011 with a landslide electoral victory -, President Fernández de Kirchner attended Congress to kick off a new period of parliamentary sessions.
Prices and 'social investment'
In Congress where she inaugurated the 132nd period of ordinary sessions, the head of state confirmed the governmemt will submit a series of bills to “punish the abuses by monopolies and oligopolies.”
Dressed in complete white and definitely leaving behind the black of mourning she used for more than three years since the death of ex president Néstor Kirchner in 2010, the head of state praised a recent report by the World Bank and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that highlights Argentina’s increase in public spending – “I rather call it increase in social investment,” she said- and the Kirchnerite-sponsored Precios Cuidados program to stem inflation.
In that sense, Fernández de Kirchner called to "ramp up investments" and urged business leaders to consider the “immense” efforts the government has done over the past years, allowing the private-sector to “earn a lot.” In almost a three-hour speech, she urged them to “lend a hand to the country” in order to strengthen “growth” in an international scenario where “exports have dropped.”
“There is no reason to increase prices”, she affirmed and accused retailers of “looting Argentineans’ pockets.”
Furthermore, the President highlighted the nationalization of Argentina’s flag carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas– a policy fiercely questioned by the opposition -, and affirmed the government has proved “the state can be as efficient as the private-sector.”
Message to supporters
Following her Congress address, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner delivered a message to supporters from the building’s terrace.
Vice president Amado Boudou, Lower House head Julián Domínguez, newly appointed Senate provisional president Gerardo Zamora and two parliamentary committees were in charge of officially receiving Ms. Kirchner on her arrival at Congress.
Provincial governors, ruling party and opposition MPs, Supreme Court justices, ministers, military chiefs, political, social and human rights leaders were present at the Lower House where the head of state was delivering her address. Giant screens have been displayed both inside and outside Congress to allow pro-government groups to follow the presidential message.
Prior to Ms. Kirchner’s arrival, VP Boudou kicked off the session joined by MP Julián Domínguez and ex governor of the Santiago del Estero province and now provisional president of the Senate Gerardo Zamora.