Argentine farm leaders involved in the recent stand off with the administration of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner have soared in public opinion consideration according to the latest survey released this week in Buenos Aires by Giacobe and Associates.
However the standing of Mrs. Kirchner and other political figures remain particularly depressed following on the questions from the public opinion poll. Alfredo De Angeli a down to earth, straight forward speaking local farm leader who in his first appearances had a front tooth missing, and was the only one to be forcibly retained for a few hours comes through as the most popular of all with a 58.5% support. He is followed by Eduardo Buzzi, (51%) president of the Argentine Agrarian Federation, a grouping of relatively small land owners and farmers, who came across as the most articulate and precise in explaining the extent of the conflict and how it affected the rural sector. Luciano Miguens, from the all powerful Argentine Rural Society, once one of the pillars of power in Argentina until former President Juan Peron appeared in the forties, has a support of 38.1% according to the Giacobe poll. He had to read his speeches, but gave the impression of a dedicated grandfather and was particularly careful in not offending the authorities. During the four months long conflict the dove wing of the Kirchner administration considered him the most "serious" and "most dialogue prone", with whom a reasonable agreement could be reached. Behind him figures Mario Llambias, (37.1%) president of the Argentine Rural Confederations, middle sized farmers. He wasn't articulate but managed to send several darts to the heart of the Kirchners couple, reminding them they were not even a "pale resemblance" of Juan and Evita Peron, the most outstanding couple of Argentine politics in the last eight decades. Finally a rather grayish figure, Fernando Gioino who wasn't fond of talking and at times seemed fearful of the magnitude of the protest, organized by his three co-chairs of the Liaison group or farmers organizations. Gioino basically represents the Argentine farm cooperatives. He managed 18.4%. However even his rating was above that of the two political figures which have emerged "spontaneously" from the long farm conflict, vice president Julio Cobos, who cast the decisive vote in the Senate against the controversial sliding farm export tax system signaling the defeat of the Kirchner administration and Elisa Carrió, a long standing member of the opposition, well known for surfacing reiterated corruption claims. They both figure with 15%. Other politicians in the limelight were less fortunate: former president Nestor Kirchner, 2.8%; another former president Eduardo Duhalde, 2.7%; former Economy minister, 2.6% and former Santa Fe governor and Senator Carlos Reutemann 2.4%. The public opinion poll goes further and asks which governors are potential "presidential" candidates for Argentina's 2011 general election. Top of the list come Mauricio Macri, mayor of the City of Buenos Aires and Daniel Scioli, governor of the province of Buenos Aires, both with 30%. They are followed by governors Alberto Rodríguez Saa and Hermes Binner with 15% and both adversaries of the Kirchners. With only 7% is Chubut's governor Mario Das Neves, a critic of the conflict and the government's position, but without crossing the line, and who two weeks ago announced he was a candidate for 2011. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who was elected last December with 42% of votes cast, as a direct consequence of the farmers' conflict and inflation collapsed to less than 20% and remains static in that position according to Giacobe and Associates. The opinion poll included 1.000 interviews between July 18 and 25, in the leading provinces of Buenos Aires City, Buenos Aires province, Santa Fe, Cordoba, Mendoza, Corrientes and Rio Negro.