December 19, 2014
Scioli: strike designed to help Massa politically
Echoes of Thursday’s national strike continued to reverberate yesterday with Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli once again linking strike leader and union boss Luis Barrionuevo to the Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa.
For his part, Massa criticized the roadblocks that he felt “stained” the national strike and Hugo Mo-yano, the leader of the opposition CGT, added that his union is studying the next steps to be taken.
Scioli responded on Radio Mitre to comments made by restaurant worker Luis Barrionuevo on Friday in which the union leader predicted that the Massa would “crush” Kirchnerism electorally in the 2015 presidential vote and suggested that the former Tigre mayor, Massa, reminded him of former president Carlos Menem before he won primaries that catapulted him to the presidency in 1989.
The Buenos Aires Governor, without ever mentioning Ba-rrionuevo, said that “yesterday the political intent behind the strike became evident,” linking Massa to “sectors that try to generate a context of unpredictability, of economic, social and institutional uncertainty caused by this general strike.”
He added that “one of the unionists” behind the strike gave “solid support to a specific candidate and from that sector there has always been an attempt to promote a negative vision of Argentina.”
The governor alluded to a campaign by a sector, understood to be linked to Massa, which predicted that Argentina was going to “run out of reserves as part of a hyperinflationary process.” Scioli said that as this did not occur, the strike was part of a political process to support Massa.
In response, Alberto Roberti, a Renewal Front legislator, said that Scioli’s comments were “irresponsible words from a person who holds the title of governor.” In addition the mayor of Olavarría, José Eseverri, added that the “Renewal Front won the midterm elections without Moyano nor Barrionuevo.”
Massa did not respond to the governor, but did tell Radio América that the general strike “was evidently important” but that it had received a “ferocious stain” as a result of the roadblocks set up around the city by left-wing organizations.
“It’s crazy to use roadblocks to force people to not go to work. I think that it spoils the choices that any worker can freely make.”
Hugo Moyano, one of the main architects of the general strike, was also active yesterday, announcing that he expected the government to respond to the strike with solutions and that his union was assessing what the next options would be.
Reports have suggested that Ba-rrionuevo is keen on calling another strike but there is no unity yet within the dissident unions on the way forward. For the moment, Antonio Caló and Hugo Yasky of the CGT and CTA factions most closely aligned with the government remain the primary contacts with the national government for labour issues.
Scioli defends security policy
The Buenos Aires province governor also took the opportunity to defend his decision to announce a “security emergency” by saying that “the entire political spectrum” backed the move, including his Lieutenant Governor Gabriel Mariotto, who did not initially support the measures.
Among other measures, the plan involves increased police presence and reopening the discussion about the possibility of reducing the age of criminal responsibility.
Human rights groups have been critical of the plan.
Asked if the president supported the plan, he responded by saying that “What Argentine can withhold his support when we are talking about fighting to save lives?” Reminded that the president had not publicly announced her support he added that “each governor carries out his responsibilities with the full use of his institutional mandate.”
With regard to the opposition criticism about crime in the province, Scioli responded that “many of them are sceptical and hopeless pessimists but the people already know that.”
Herald with DyN, Télam