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Argentina: President Fernandez Calls for a New Social Compact

  • Alberto Fernandez at the ceremony where he was sworn-in as Argentina's new President, at the National Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 10, 2019.

    Alberto Fernandez at the ceremony where he was sworn-in as Argentina's new President, at the National Congress, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 10, 2019. | Photo: EFE

Published 10 December 2019

"The only privileged will be those who have been trapped in the well of poverty and marginalization," said Alberto Fernandez was sworn in as President today.

Argentina's new president Alberto Fernandez Tuesday stressed that he comes to power to "summon the unity of all of Argentina" for the welfare of the entire population, especially those who have been hit hardest by the worst economic crisis in the country's history.


Argentina's Fernandez Calls for the End of Poverty and Misery

"I come to convene the unity of all of Argentina, after the construction of a new social citizen contract that is fraternal and supportive," said the Peronist leader in the session of the Congress in which he and Vice President Cristina Fernández received their offices.

"The only privileged will be those who have been trapped in the well of poverty and marginalization," he stressed firmly.

Fernandez, who succeeds the right-wing politician Mauricio Macri, will face a complicated economic scenario marked by high public debt, a fragile national currency, the constant rise in prices and rising unemployment and poverty levels

The chilling figures of neoliberal heritage

The new Argentine president began his speech highlighting that solving the destruction caused by four years of neoliberalism will not be an easy task nor will it generate immediate results.

“The truth and responsibility would be lacking if I did not share with you the exact scenario in which we assume today... This is the indispensable information to understand the challenges that we will have to assume as a society.”

Fernandez then began to make a brief account of the economic "disaster" left by President Macri.

"Macri left a broken, humiliated, broken, ashamed country... Hope never died for Argentineans. Today they can take back the reins of their country, of democracy, of their economy, of their dignity. Good, Long live Argentina!" The meme reads, "Argentina's crisis arouses concern in Latin America. Argentina continues its economic debacle and Latin America could not isolate itself from the bankruptcy that threatens the South American nation."

“The inflation we have is the highest of the last 28 years and is over 50 percent. The unemployment rate is the highest since 2006. The value of the dollar went from 9 to 63 pesos in just four years.”

Then the Argentinean president stressed that his country's economy has been shrinking for months.

“The 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the lowest in the last decade. Currently, poverty levels are at the highest values ​​since 2008... The GDP per capita is the lowest since 2009,” Fernandez said.

“The industrial production output is equivalent to the 2006 level... Industrial employment is at the 2009 level. We retreated 12 years: the number of companies is equivalent to the number existing in 2007. Over the last four years, 20,000 companies were closed, 4,229 of which were industrial companies.”

External debt and IMF

President Fernandez said his government has the "will" to pay a public debt inherited from former President Macri; however, the magnitude of that debt exceeds the production of Argentina, a country whose economy does not currently have the capacity to pay an unsustainable debt.

"There are no debt payments that can be sustained if the country does not grow. As simple as this. In order to pay it is necessary to grow first," he said before the state authorities and foreign leaders who attended the ceremony of his assumption in Congress, in Buenos Aires.

Fernandez said he will seek a "constructive and cooperative relationship" with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which approved a loan of US$56.3 billion for Argentina in 2018.

"Live from Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The arrival of the new president Alberto Fernandez. A historical moment for this South American country.

Simultaneously to Fernandez's investiture, the Argentines were conducting a festival with music and other artistic expressions in the Plaza de Mayo, the most symbolic square of the Argentine popular resistance, which is in front of the government headquarters.

"I want to end by deeply thanking the generosity and highlighting the strategic vision that Cristina Fernandez has expressed," the new President of Argentina said shortly before concluding her speech.

“With democracy one heals, educates and eats. Let's stand up and start our march, Thank you very much.”

Once the new Argentine president finished his investiture speech, he headed towards La Casa Rosada passing through the May Avenue, which was surrounded by people who wanted to greet him

Among the international guests for the possession of Fernandez were Cuba's President Miguel Diaz-Canel, Paraguay's President Mario Abdo, Uruguay's President Tabare Vazquez, Brazil's Vice President Hamilton Mourao, Spain's Senate President Pilar Llop, and Ecuador's former President Rafael Correa.

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