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Montevideo, April 21st 2018 - 15:34 UTC

Recalling the phrase “Argentines are crooks from the first to the last”

Monday, March 19th 2012 - 06:54 UTC
Full article 92 comments
Former Uruguayan president Jorge Batlle caught on tape while talking off the record Former Uruguayan president Jorge Batlle caught on tape while talking off the record

“You were right, or at least that is what Argentines I come across in the street tell me”, said former Uruguayan president Jorge Batlle. In effect Batlle became world famous in 2002 for his phrase describing the River Plate neighbours: “Argentines are a bunch of crooks, from the first to the last, from A to Z”.

Ten years later in an interview with a local television channel Batlle said that just a week ago he was in Buenos Aires and “I was stopped by a young fellow who asked if I had been president of Uruguay and told me: you know? You were right”.

 “In a shopping mall in Montevideo I went through a similar experience, an Argentine gentleman approached me and also congratulated me”, said the Uruguayan leader.

The unforgettable statement was said by the president Batlle when following an interview the camera was left on and he was taped making statements “off the record”.

“Look here Argentines are a bunch of crooks from the first to the last, from A to Z”, said the Uruguayan president ten years ago.

But Argentines were disappointed and Batlle had to travel to Buenos Aires and publicly apologize (tears included) next to then Argentine caretaker president Eduardo Duhalde.

“I did so because presidents are not supposed to say those things and because my mother was Argentine”, said Batlle. Besides, “I was not a simple citizen, I was the president of Uruguay and the three million Uruguayans could suffer enormously with my words”, he added.
Anyhow “it was hard to apologize but I did it, and that’s it”, concluded the former president.

Nevertheless at the time he said those words public opinion polls in Buenos Aires overwhelmingly supported Batlle’s statements.

Categories: Politics, Argentina, Uruguay.

Top Comments

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  • Helber Galarga

    what a rubbish piece of journalism!
    At least, mercopress is consistent in providing average to below average stories!

    What was it this time around Mercopress? You could find a decent story so you dug this up from the past (10 years in the past) and tried to give a new facade to make it novel?

    Keep up your poor work MercoPress

    Mar 19th, 2012 - 07:25 am 0
  • Doveoverdover

    @1 Not long to wait to 2nd Apr and another, even older, dug up story. At least he acknowledged and apologised for his error of judgement and rudeness.

    Mar 19th, 2012 - 07:43 am 0
  • Frank

    Saying you are sorry and being sorry are two different things.....

    @1 it isn't a ten year old story... he has just been on TV and retold it.... you nong.

    There are crooks in all countries but he is right... it is endemic in RG land.

    The poor steal to live.....

    Tradesmen do second grade work for top dollar ( I have been told they aren't picking on the gringos... they dud their own as well.)

    You are handed a written warning at Ezeiza telling you not to take the taxis because sharp practice is so common.

    If you find a decent tradesman he will want either cash or US$ paid into his New York account... he isn't stealing from you he is stealing from the government by dodging tax.

    Prefectura officers will pocket any cash 'fees' they can extort from you.

    And of course the government leads by example... any word yet on where the $2.5 billion of Aerolineas Belgrano Malvinas money went?

    Not to mention land theft..........

    Sorry Tobias... RG = Thief

    Mar 19th, 2012 - 07:54 am 0
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