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Montevideo, November 21st 2018 - 19:41 UTC

Bielsa dilemma: Paris, Congress, people, or K's fury?

Wednesday, December 7th 2005 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

Rafael Bielsa who on Tuesday shocked his electorate by accepting the post of Ambassador in France, on Wednesday shocked President Kirchner's administration saying he had listened to “the voice of the people” and decided to effectively become a member of Congress.

It's anybody's guess what will happen Thursday when President Kirchner reacts to the full impact of his former Foreign Affairs minister erratic conduct and poetic arguments to justify his indecisiveness.

Apparently Mr. Bielsa unable to contact President Kirchner left a letter in Government House and communicated his latest move to cabinet chief Alberto Fernandez who "understood my reaction" but "did not share my arguments".

"It's a very great personal effort. I believe my duty is as ambassador but I listened to the electorate, to the people. Citizens privilege public commitment over tasks assigned", said Mr. Bielsa in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

"For me it was very important and most painful to hear from my fellow citizens the true reality. I think I did the biggest effort on accepting the honour of becoming ambassador in Paris. I felt people would understand that I was tasked to serve my country".

"It's a moral issue and I haven't been through precisely happy days because it has been a moral conduct dilemma", he insisted arguing that "I never resigned (from Congress) and I never asked for leave since the new legislature doesn't begin until December 10".

"Men are not like rivers that can't turn back, and I was really agonizing, mortifies with remarks from those people who trusted me their votes".

In earlier statements and after having given up his bench in the Lower House to become Ambassador in France, Mr. Bielsa admitted that accepting the swap was the "most difficult decision" he had ever confronted.

"I'm not a bad person, rather someone who thinks in his country before any personal consideration", said Mr. Bielsa who admitted having lived "four days of agony" since President Nestor Kirchner proposed he should assume as Ambassador in Paris.

"The first question I asked myself was: what's my duty? Not what was best for me. My duty is with the project I belong to as well as most Argentines", added the former minister.

However Mr. Bielsa spoke of mortification, agony and pain because "yesterday as I walked along the street something happened which I will never forget: a mother came up to me and said I was a bad person. This caused great pain, great, irreparable, mortification".

He also revealed that his family asked him not only to give up his bench in Congress but also the ambassador post.

"Until five days ago I was convinced I would be taking office as a member of Congress for the City of Buenos Aires".

"Actually I gave up four years of a stable job, a retirement scheme few Argentines enjoy and I'm also exposed to this kind of mortifying remarks", insisted Bielsa.

He also denied wanting his former Foreign Affairs minister job: "I hardly saw my family, my children and after so much travelling I've become allergic to airplanes".

However the people voted "not for me, but for the President's project and I have a duty to accomplish improving bilateral relations with France". Bielsa recalled that France is Argentina's second major foreign investor.

Categories: Mercosur.

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