December 18, 2014
Capitanich defends crime policies during Lower House address
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich read out from a papal document signed by Francis today as part of his response to a question criticising government policy on public safety, as he briefed the Lower House for the first time since being appointed to the post at the end of 2013.
The missive from the Holy See exhorted that exclusion and inequality were crucial issues to solve in the fight against crime, words echoed by the former Chaco governor in a response to a question from the Renewal Front.
Capitanich admitted that "an improvement is necessary" in security matters, and that it was a "challenge for the government."
The cabinet chief briefed MPs for an hour first and was then questioned by lawmakers in a session that lasted a total of eight hours, falling short of the 12 hours Capitanich took to address senators in a previous briefing earlier this year.
Prior to the queries by MPs, Jorge Capitanich defended the government’s economic agenda and condemned the pressure by so called “vulture” funds suing Argentina over its defaulted bonds more than a decade ago in a 1.3 billion-dollar dispute.
The decision of the Kirchnerite administration is to prevent the "Argentinean people" from paying the "cost of the debt," the minister affirmed and considered the dispute against US-based hedge funds a “deliberate action” by an “insignificant group of bondholders jeopardizing the country’s debt restructuring.”
Creditors led by Aurelius Capital Management and NML Capital Ltd, a unit of billionaire Paul Singer's Elliott Management, in fact refused Argentina’s 2005 and 2010 debt swaps.
The official also pointed out that investment in social security has reached 12.1 percent, a "strategy" that has allowed the government to “improve and guarantee social inclusion and income distribution parameters” in order to move forward in the “reduction of poverty and indigence.”
Regarding Argentina’s energy scenario, Capitanich praised the expropriation of YPF, a company set to become a “flag ship” to "reach oil and gas self-sufficiency and the substitution of imports,” highlighting as well the “process of investment” bolstered mostly when Buenos Aires and Spain’s Repsol reached a compensation agreement earlier this year.