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September 30, 2014
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CFK: veiled criticism of Scioli over auto parts conflict in BA province

Protesters rallying against layoffs burn tyres in front of the Spanish automotive supplier factory Gestamp in Escobar on Wednesday.

Protest lifted after Buenos Aires province orders 15-day compulsory conciliation

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner yesterday hurled thinly-veiled criticism in the direction of Buenos Aires Province Governor Daniel Scioli urging him to take responsibility for the takeover of an autoparts plant by a handful of dismissed workers, who later heard of a conciliation ordered by the province in a bid to lift the protest.

By contrast to her criticism of Scioli, the president came out in strong defence of Economy Minister Axel Kicillof after he clinched an accord on Thursday to repay Argentina’s debt with the Paris Club of creditor nations, which was praised even by some opposition sectors. The president celebrated the minister’s “conviction in defending ideas,” highlighting his youth and alleged lack of experience vis-à-vis other “experienced” officials “who failed to accomplish things.”

But Fernández de Kirchner made no comment about Vice-President Amado Boudou who is now at the centre of an influence-peddling corruption probe.

The president delivered a speech during a public appearance in Río Gallegos with Santa Cruz Governor Daniel Peralta with whom she is allegedly at odds.

Randazzo enters the fray

The president used the rally in her home province of Santa Cruz to once again lambast Scioli, who served as a vice-president for her late husband and predecessor Néstor Kirchner between 2003-2007.

A presidential vote is due next year and market-oriented Scioli will be one of the leading hopefuls in the ruling Victory Front coalition.

Fernández de Kirchner cannot seek a third straight term after having been elected in 2007 and reelected in 2011.

Last year she veiledly warned Scioli not to take her for “an idiot” and come out more strongly in defence of her Victory Front in the October midterm election in which her party was defeated in Buenos Aires by dissident Peronist Sergio Massa, the leader of his own Renewal Front, another of the leading contenders for 2015.

Meanwhile, Interior and Transport Minister Florencio Randazzo says that he will be the Kirchnerite presidential candidate if he “manages” to improve the crippled railway system that has caused scores of deaths over the past few years. The president has just announced new investments in the railway sector.

Randazzo also says that Massa — who served as a Cabinet chief for Fernández de Kirchner for a year until she fired him in July 2009 — was not actually a Peronist but a candidate “of the opposition and the media,” a reference to the Clarín and La Nación newspapers that the president accuses of seeking to destabilize her.

Also, in contrast with other Government officials and even with Fernández de Kirchner’s own reluctance to mention the issue, Randazzo says that crime is “not just a perception” of the people.

Auto parts conflict

In her Río Gallegos speech Fernández de Kirchner said “We have a company in Buenos Aires province that has been taken over by nine workers who prevent thousands of Argentines from working. I urge the authorities to take the due responsibility and solve the conflict, and I urge workers to care for their jobs. I will not judge whether they are right or not.

She added “one cannot be there just to smile for photographs. It is nice to smile always and to say always ‘yes’ to everybody. But when you say always ‘yes’ to everybody the time arrives when you have to say ‘no’ to everybody because you run out of funds to face the state obligations,” she added referring to Scioli.

Her words seemed to echo those of the founder of her Justicialist Party, Juan Domingo Perón who, after having implemented strong pro-union policies during his first presidency (1946-1952), during the second one (1952-1955) bluntly told them that the time of austerity had arrived.

The president said that she had sent Industry Minister Débora Giorgi, Security Secretary Sergio Berni and Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich to speak with Scioli and some of his ministers. “Each one must assume his responsibility. The national state can help only to some extent,” she said.

Almost at the same time Buenos Aires Province’s Labour Minister Oscar Cuartango and his Production colleague Cristian Breitenstein went yesterday morning to the plant in Escobar to inform the protesters that the province had ordered a 15-day compulsory conciliation with the company’s management, an order after which the workers lifted their protest that prevented supplies from reaching other manufacturers. At press time there was speculation that Gestamp would not accept the conciliation.

Herald staff with DyN

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