A leading Italian newspaper has published a very critical piece on Argentina, its honesty and what it describes as the succession of ‘creative lies’ in the country’s recent history going back to the myth about Evita Peron, the blood thirsty generals, Maradona, Carlos Menem one peso/one dollar, Cristina Kirchner and the latest the clash with the IMF over manipulation of official inflation and GDP stats.
Under the heading of “Creative lies from Argentine friends Maradona, Kirchner and false stats”, the Corriere della Sera begins the article in the front page with the IMF ‘declaration of censure’ and enumerates a succession of events including the famous ‘1 dollar equals 1 Peso’ from President Carlos Menem time that led to the massive default of 2001 and heavy losses, among others, to 300.000 Italian pensioners holders of Argentine sovereign bonds: the so called in Italy, ‘tango-bonds’.
“Argentine candidates lie to the people, and they know it. They also lie if elected during and after leaving office, and the long tradition of exaggerations, omissions, conspiration and hearsays which always crop up are considered matters of State”, writes Rocco Cotroneo who works for the Italian daily from Brazil.
“It’s as if the whole nation lied before the world. Obviously it is not so and millions of serious, honest and hardworking Argentines are evidence to this; but also suffering as beaten dogs, as has happened these days with the umpteenth foolish incident, this time with the IMF.
“Cristina Kirchner as her husband Nestor, have been cheating with the inflation stats for years, plus the refusal to publish some stats that are key to the economy, ‘unconceivable for a democracy’ “.
The article then quotes the great Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges who referring to the Peronists (the largest political movement in Argentina) and the spiritual mentors of Cristina Fernandez said: “they are not good or bad, they are simply incorrigible”.
Rocco points out to the current history revisionism, involving Evita Peron, “Cristina Fernandez maximum myth” , full of white lies beginning with her age: “she was not born in 1922, but in 1919 and the Broadway musical exaggerated her background, she was not of a miserable origin but rather belonged to a middle class solid family; however official propaganda did the job”.
As to the military dictatorships they lied to the country most of the time and to the world: the blood-thirsty generals denied torturing and massacring their own people, declared victory over the UK during the Falklands’ war…and Carlos Menem did not lose the habit. He made the Argentine believe during ten years that One Peso was the same as One Dollar until the tragic end with the ‘tango-bonds’
And let’s not forget the famous hand of God of Maradona during the match with England at the World Cup in 1986, who denied having scored with his fist but rather that it had been ‘the hand of God’.
However in an honest admission Rocco says that in all these lies and cheatings, Italians have a share of blame: “over 50% of the blood circulating in the River Plate comes from our backyard”.
Finally the piece concludes recalling what president Cristina Fernandez confessed to a Harvard student: “I always speak with journalists” although to be honest “in seven years the lady President has never held any press conference with the Argentine media”.