DURING LECTURE AT UCA UNIVERSITYThursday, August 21, 2014
Activists throw eggs at former minister Cavallo
A group of activists yesterday carried out an exposure protest against former Economy minister Domingo Cavallo during a lecture on monetary policy at the Argentine Catholic University (UCA).
Two young men threw eggs at Cavallo, calling him a “thief” and a “sellout.” Coast Guard officers chased the activists and arrested them.
Minutes later, two women left the room visibly upset and displayed T-shirts with the slogan “Homeland or Vultures,” in reference to the legal standoff between the Argentine government and debt holdout creditors.
Cavallo compared the hecklers to Nazis. “Thanks a lot for inviting me, I’m sorry that my presence here has brought these people that remind me of the tactics of Nazis or Bolsheviks,” the man who was Economy minister from 1991 to 1996 under the administration of Carlos Menem (1989-1999) and Fernando De la Rúa (1999-2001) said.
Aggressors were identified as members of the left-wing Bolivarian group Quebracho which is known for aggressive street protests.
“They think an egg against Cavallo is ‘physical aggression,’ but the guy drove millions of Argentines into hunger. That’s aggression,” Quebracho leader Fernando Esteche wrote on his Twitter account.
Cavallo, who was also a Central Bank governor during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship, is regarded by many as the main person responsible for the 2001 economic crisis. His orthodox policies included wage cuts, privatization of state-run companies and economic concentration.
The former official is regarded as “the father of convertibility” and was the mastermind behind the so-called Menemist decade when the Argentine peso was pegged to the US dollar at a one-to-one exchange rate.
The 68-year old economist had been charged with “negotiations incompatible with public office” for his role in the so-called megacanje, or large debt swap, of 2001. Earlier this year, accusations hit other officials from the De la Rúa administration, including current PRO lawmaker and former president of the Ciudad Bank Federico Sturzenegger.
After teaching for many years at universities in the US, Cavallo returned to Buenos Aires several weeks ago to present his new book Road to Stability.
In a recent Herald interview, Cavallo argued that, according to legal experts, US Judge Thomas Griesa “delivered an accurate ruling” in the case against vulture funds.
“The government wants to use the case to obtain more support but they are playing with fire and the ones who will end up damaged will be all Argentines,” he warned.
Cavallo was joined by former Central Bank heads Mario Blejer and Javier González Fraga, an economist linked to the Radical (UCR) party. Fraga is expected to meet today with other Broad Front-UNEN experts in Córdoba province to define the front’s stance on the government-sponsored bill to service the country’s debt in Argentina.
Herald staff with AP, DyN