Cristina Fernandez raps business, farmers and unions: Argentina is not Disneyland
Argentine President Cristina Fenandez again full of stamina criticized farmers, business people and workers’ unions, and at the same time called on all sides involved to live in the real Argentina, “not fantasy land, because Argentina is not Disneyland”.
The first to be reprimanded was the business community. President Fernandez promised to keep defending the domestic market and industry but warned the counterpart “is increased investment”.
CFK announced the dismantling of the previous policy of subsidies and those funds, she said, will now be made available to businesses as loans, so they can increase production capacity, create more jobs and ensure a fair distribution of income and salaries.
“Productivity is fine but not always at the cost of jobs, which means many Argentines then remain jobless or have to work in the black market with no protection”.
A committee was specially created with the Minister of Industry Debora Giorgi and the Planning Secretary Axel Kicillof with the purpose of surveying salary increases in the different sectors, profitability and how the government through tax breaks, soft loans, subsidies and special schemes contributes to such a situation. This will be measured against the level of private investment.
“The state will protect domestic industries but this must not mean because there is no imports’ competition prices will go up, we’re going to make sure this does not happen”, said CFK
The lack of investment or reluctance to invest was also the main focus of the presidential message to farmers who she said, “keep asking God for rain and when it doesn’t rain they ask for money from government”, while recalling that there are plenty of insurances for hail, frost and droughts.
The time has come for every farmer to contract and pay insurance as most people do, said CFK adding that “farmers have had excellent earnings and will continue to have”.
“I have instructed the Minister of Agriculture to address the insurance policy against hail, frost and drought which will be the official policy to implement”, while the government will contribute with its share of irrigation projects”.
Farmer organizations were quick to reply and said that the insurance policy does not cover the whole geography of Argentina, because of the lack of interest from the State and underlined that when crops and prices are good, “the State is a big partner in the profits but when things go bad as currently because of the drought they tell us to go to the banks to ask for money”.
Finally and with special irony the Argentine president talked about an article in Spain’s main daily EL Pais which analyzes the labour situation in that country.
“While here every week we inaugurate housing, we expand factories and help farmers with the drought”, in Spain there is a massive salaries’ cut and the unions are planning an escalating strategy which has as its culminating point, a strike”.
She went on to say “how lucky the Spanish business people and the Spanish government: they announce salary cuts, redundancies and the union leaders are thinking of some form of strike but on the long term”.
Further on the president claimed that the satisfied (Argentine) unions together with business people don’t seem to care much about all those workers that are unregistered and work “in the black economy”.
“May I remind them that it is the responsibility of good union leaders to look after the well being of all workers and not only those comfortably protected by their unions”.
Argentine unions led by Hugo Moyano from the organized labour powerful CGT are asking for over 20% increase in the ongoing collective bargaining talks as the government has recommended not to go beyond 18% as part of the austerity measures triggered in anticipation of what in considered a “complicated 2012” because of the outside shocks”.
Plus the fact that inflation is out of control, over 25% in spite of the official 9.8%.
Finally CFK said that the 40 million Argentines should be well aware of the world “we live in and the Argentina that we have” and called for the defence of the current economic inclusive development model.
“We’re not the best nor do we live in Disneyland, but we must understand and learn to live the real Argentina, not fantasy land, because Argentina is not Disneyland, so let us look after what we have”, she concluded.