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Montevideo, April 25th 2017 - 10:32 UTC
Argentina is a divided country and does not solve the problems of the people, said the Catholic Church in its Easter message, demanding a culture of dialogue and honesty in the framework of the country's institutions. Read full article
Honesty, they don't know the meaning of the word.
The Catholic church the richest church in the world, why not help the poor with you ill gotten gains.Its the poor that contribute more to the Catholic church than any other sector. As they believe all the rheteric.
Meanwhile, the governing front Cambiemos has filed a bill in Congress proposing to increase punishment for public demonstrations and roadblocks, which would make most social protests and their participants illegal and liable to prison penalties of up to 10 years.
As they say, it's difficult to apply a program of regressive wealth distribution (rather wealth concentration) without facing social unrest. The response, in such cases, would be backing up or...increasing the police presence on the streets and giving judges more tools to deal with unrest.
The message sounds like a dig at Macri to me, although possibly it was aimed at the unions as well.
It should not be necessary to block roads and cause all kind of problems for other people in order to protest. What are they actually proposing to ban? And I thought Macri didn't have a majority in congress, if this bill is truly unreasonable, surely it will never be passed?
This is the first time that a deeply regressive economic program is executed by an elected government in Argentina. Previous similar projects were forcefully implemented by civic-military dictatorships. The Macri government begins to find civil resistance, and appears ready to quash protesters by force.
During his first year in power, the Cambiemos administration was able to pass almost all the bills it presented, thanks to a divided and inefficient opposition and to a mix of carrots and sticks on provincial governors that conditioned the vote of related lawmakers. While this can be seen as an advantage for the government, it also puts the full weight of the consequences on Macri and his team'. We'll see about the current repressive bill though.
That doesn't answer my questions. Do you have a link to this bill that's going to make protests illegal? I just had a look and can't find anything at all, but I probably don't know the right search terms in Spanish. And is the opposition still divided and inefficient, or are they sufficiently unhappy with Macri's policies to get over their differences and start doing something about it?
Society at large is demanding a more rational way of protesting, not banning protests.
Having people block main roads whenever they feel like protesting not only disrupts everybody's lives but also makes the reasons behind the protest less credible.
Although Cambiemos doesn't hold a majority in Congress, lawmakers are responding to the general sentiment of society which basically is: Let them protest but don't let them make non-protester hostages.
Callao and Corrientes, one of the busiest corners in BA is continuously being blocked by small groups (almost every week). That corner bears the traffic of about 20 bus lines plus half a million cars daily. Blocking that intersection makes everybody upset. Wouldn't that be one of the major causes for the darn gap?
So what is really in this bill that Enrique mentioned? Are protests allowed so long as they don't block roads?
Full text is here:
I'm no lawyer but as far as I can tell the modifications to the civil code revolve around these points:
* Punish with jail those that in public would use items that could hurt somebody.
* Punish with jail those who threaten others for carrying out their duties, or threatened in such a way that it forces people to leave their workplace or place of residence.
* Punish with jail those who would by any means alter the regular activity of the means of transportation
I guess you might have seen some pictures where protesters have their faces covered while carrying sticks.
The bill makes no reference to banning public manifestations, the right to petition authorities, the right to go on strike or a prohibition on protesting.
Rest my case.
Again, Enrique denounces reforms by Macri, then criticises him for getting insufficient results within a year or so.
EM seems to be condoning 'mob rule' - self-interested 'protestors' dictating to the government the course of economic reform, rather than letting the duly elected Macri exercise his mandate.
Good job Tarquin Fin finding the text of the bill.
An example from the bill's text:
Those who, without creating danger, would prevent or restrict ground, water or aerial transportation or prevent or restrict public services from functioning will get prison terms from three months to two years.
And so it comes down to this: Nestor Kirchner and Cristina governed Argentina for 12 years and kept the right to demonstrate, which led to many demonstrations where families with kids were able to march without fear.
Macri, 16 months after taking office, feels the need to tighten the rules for public demonstrations by adding stiff penalties for a multitude of infractions that will provide huge leeway to police.
Society at large is demanding a more rational way of protesting, not banning protests, noted TF.
This is exactly the way Macri sees things: Society at large made up of those who are happy with the way things are right now.
On the other side, he sees an enemy: Those who demonstrate against his measures, who will be pretty much easier to label criminals” if the proposed changes become law.
Finally, a protest is a protest. If you domesticate it, it's not a protest anymore.
You are off-topic. But you love Macri--we get your point.
You just assume that someone's right to protest includes him/her taking a dump at my front door. Even if I sympathize with his/her claim, I would just be upset to have to clean it up afterwards.
Take Plaza de Mayo, Take Lezama Park ... not enough? Take the entire Palermo woods, but please don't block the 39's route or cut the B line. I depend on it for my month to month income.
Enrique, you talk bollocks, why on earth would any DECENT mother or father take their children on a protest, particularly in a South American country, they are asking for trouble, that's why the Latam Countries are so iresponsable as you know there is going to be violence.Is it because you use the children as human shields, I just don't get it please explain.I would not take my dog on a protest in BA.
Thanks for finding the bill, TF.
The new laws don't seen totally unreasonable but it would depend how they are applied. What counts as an item that could hurt somebody? Pots and pans could do some damage if you hit someone with them, but aren't they traditional in Argentina?
Also, do the police who respond to protests have their faces visible? Are they identifiable if they break the law themselves?
How bad are the protests now anyway? I got the impression there had not been so many since Macri took over, at least until the recent general strike. So it's a bit surprising he thinks it necessary to change the law.
Do you think protesters should be able to do anything they like, since 'if you domesticate it, it's not a protest anymore'? If not, then what laws do you think there should be? Is covering faces okay? That doesn't sound very family friendly. What about blocking roads with burning tyres?
IMO countries need to find the right balance; unions that are too powerful are bad, and unions that are too powerless are bad also. I think the UK currently would benefit from more powerful unions, but I'm not sure that is true for Argentina.
Mr Massot most countries or at least the progressive and civilized ones have laws that assure the rights of innocent passage on public roads. Your position seems to be promoting lawlessness and anarchy and the rule of hooligans.
In the meantime.............., the Negrada Inculta honours its benefactors...:
The Argentine Catholic Church after having promoted, and boosted, catholic nationalism for decades in either its coup version, military, or in its popularly elected version, Peronism, that delayed Argentina 70 years they now come to lecture all of us with ideas of tolerance and respect.
Is it because its “soldiers” are not in power?
Is it because several of its soldiers face serious charges of crime, and corruption, in the Argentine Justice?
Are they afraid of potential “winds of change” that could threaten their historical privileges?
Catholicism, in opposition to Protestantism, has been a source of backwardness and ignorance in Argentina.
The sooner Argentina gets rid of the influence of the Catholic Church and Peronism the faster it will develop.
Sticks can be used in different ways. As always, an images is worth a thousand words:
Ah, the link bug strikes again. Tarquin, you can only put one link in each comment now.
Is it not illegal already to threaten people in the street or use offensive weapons? I would have thought some of the more dangerous and annoying acts of the protesters would break existing laws?
Cute, it looks like a dragonfly. I bet some people here would think a locust more appropriate...
Today I saw the dragon-fly
Come from the wells where she did lie.
An inner impulse rent the veil
Of her old husk: from head to tail
Came out clear plates of sapphire mail.
She dried his wings: like gauze they grew;
Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew
A living flash of light she flew.
(Free after Alfred T.)
I wasn't aware about the 1 link per post rule. Here it goes:
You will also find that those pot banging protests took place after business hours as opposed to the piquetes that take place in the morning during rush hour making everybody mad. One form of protesting is constructive, the other one is destructive.
As for your second question, let me clarify that It is already illegal in Argentina to threaten with sticks but when it is done within a demonstration, authorities are wary to enforce the law. This is a stigma that comes from brutal repression during the 70's and also from a demonstration in 2002 when two protesters were slaughtered by police officers. Politicians since then have tried to steer away from intervening in public protests and therefore we haven't been able to find a middle ground for this sort of thing. The current government has made it clear that abuse from either side will not be tolerated and this is seen by the professional protesters' guild as a menace to their industry.
The Engrish language can be cute sometimes. You have just proved it.
The message given by the priest in ths article is clear enough...
Specially if one takes in consideration the public political position of his CEO in Rome...
A year ago..., things looked a bit bleak for us..., the progressive forces in Latinamerica...
Looking much better today..., I'm happy to say...:
Lenin Volaire and the AP..., firmly in power in Ecuador...
Evo and the MAS..., firmly in power in Bolivia...
Tabaré and the FA..., firmly in power in Uruguay...
Lula..., presidential candidate with best voting intention for Brasil 2018...
Beatriz from Shile... a comet nobody saw coming...(cross me fingers;-)
Cristina from Argentina candidate? with best voting intention for Argentina 2017...
And how not to mention AMLO in Mejico...!
How not to enjoy his panegyric porcine eulogy of the piggish hoggishness of them upstairs...?
You forgot Maduro and the PSUV, ever more firmly in power in Venezuela. Be careful what you wish for.
Ah, it makes sense that the government would want to avoid even the appearance of the repression of the past. But it's going to be hard to find a middle ground in that circumstance, and with plenty of people who are unhappy with the current government.
That certainly makes an exquisite piece of propaganda. Either you are getting better at numbers or have spent a few devalued pesos at the populist oracle run by comrade Zannini.
Kichi for president 2019? Hey!! Why not?!
Please send my regards to your friend Alicia K. That poor woman must be freezing without a cent to pay for heat.
Nope... I did not forget Venezuela...
I didn't include Venezuela in me positive list because there ain't so many positive things going on there just now...
My personal opinion (and wish..., for what it is worth) about Venezuela's current political crisis is the same one that a broad spectrum of progrezsive people in Latinamerica has...
Don't wait for the scheduled 2018 elections...
Organize a snap election in 2017...
Lets hope they do...
Do you think protesters should be able to do anything they like...?
The response is below as you wrote it:
The new laws...it would depend how they are applied.
Further, you've got to look at the bigger picture:
1. Candidate Mauricio Macri gets elected on promises that can be summarized on one phrase: I'll leave in place all that was done well and improve what needs improvement.
2. Elected president fulfills some promises benefiting wealthy sectors but hits hard workers.
3. Protests increase as a result of the above.
4. The government could tweak economic measures and alleviate some of its more painful effects. Instead, it hardens the tone, deepening the gap between the haves and the have-not.
5. Government proposes new, harsher penalties dealing with popular protests. The day after anti-riot forces prevented teachers from installing a tent, Macri announced plans to purchase a Maverick crowd-control vehicle.
Now, everybody can choose sides as polarization festers.
How many of those leaders and parties you listed share your view on Venezuela? Did any of them try to pressure Maduro into allowing the recall referendum? Are any of them pushing for a snap election in 2017? Last I saw they were all still supporting him and talking about how Venezuela is a democracy besieged by imperialism and its allies.
Maybe some are finally starting to change their minds? But I'm not optimistic. Most of them also support Cuba so they clearly don't care too much about democracy anyway.
Left-wingers here used to praise Chavez, and say the same sort of things as above. Now they have gone very quiet about Venezuela, similar to how you left it off your list without comment. I'm not impressed.
Macri does seem to have given up on winning over the protesters, which is a shame (and it didn't look like he tried too hard either). Although I'm not convinced it would be easy for him to 'alleviate the painful effects' at this point.
But evidently there are a lot of people like TF who think protesters are going too far. If people are turning up with weapons and their faces hidden I am not surprised the government wants to take action. Besides, didn't they let the teachers put up that tent in the end?
Point #4 in your list above is something I could totally agree too. Here goes my list:
1. Both FPV and Cambiemos benefit from polarization. Cambiemos exists because of FPV and FPV still survives because of Cambiemos.
2. That wide avenue in the middle will rarely materialize. Then all we have left is polarization. Sad but true.
3. Meanwhile, let's try to live in peace and help each other.
I have given quite a few examples of how people can demonstrate and show their disagreement without turning the city into a refugee camp that makes it difficult for the rest to reach their jobs and meet their appointments on time. Is this idea so far fetched?
We are talking about disagreements with government measures not a civil revolt like the one in December 2001 which had ample support from most sectors in the country. 2001 and later protests -this is my personal view- justified a massive revolt because we were being scammed at such large scale that it had become unbearable.
Not quite the situation we have today. You may argue that due to the current policies we will end there. I'll argue that we'll have to see. My hope is that we don't end there again. Some very cynical people wishes that we end belly up again because of own ambitions -political or economical, doesn't matter much in the end-
I participated in several demonstrations during the end of 2001 up to te end of 2002 when things seemed to be settling again. We all had this feeling of Que se vayan todos! (i.e: Make all politicians go away) weather you were left or right, green or yellow, fat or slim.
Every time something like 2001 happens, the poor grow exponentially. (Rodrigazo, Hyper '89)
I don't think that we should tolerate whatever Macri does in order to avoid another civilian coup. But neither do I think that we should block any government initiative just because they just walk on the other side of the street.
If Macri does not start cutting government spending a crisis like 2001 will definitely happen again.
No answer, Think? I'm curious now, has CFK said anything to or about Maduro after his attempt at self-coup? She was quick enough to condemn Rousseff's impeachment as I recall.
First let me say that the Brittos complaining about the protests in Argentina being a bit chaotic is quite the poetic amusement, when as we speak their country (and that is using the term very imaginatively in this case), is on almost all levels, internally between member regions, externally with the rest of the world, within their political parties, and inside their society itself, a complete and colossal CLUSTERF#(%*K.
HOWEVER, they do have a point. The rights of one citizen end where the rights of another begin. The tricky question is where is that border, but in Argentine history and constitution one of the FUNDAMENTAL pillars we are taught since kindergarten is that in Argentina you have the right of free movement within, into, and outfrom this country, So protests that take away this right from other citizens for an extended period of time (more than 10 minutes), do cross that line and should be dealt with it in law.
Aust, It would be fine to protest but why on earth block the passage of people who want to go to work and feed their families. You know as I do that mothers and fathers take their children on such protests why?
Hey, you agreed with the Brits! Welcome to the dark side, and have a cookie.
What do you think of picketers hiding their faces and carrying weapons? And were there strikes in Mendoza too?
Looks like one of the few on your list who is in power now is still supporting his Venezuelan comrade:
I'm guessing Vásquez will not be so keen after Maduro's accusations though.
...let's try to live in peace and help each other.
Wouldn't it be nice? Have you ever thought why this is not happening throughout the world?
The only countries that have succeeded in coming closer to this ideal are the social-democratic, Scandinavian, high-taxation, progressively distributive countries. Elsewhere, and today more than ever, greed causes permanent conflict between the wealthy sectors and the have-nots.
In Argentina, a key Cambiemos character expressed it very transparently by saying that during the Kirchnerist governments people had lived an illusion, consisting in believing that middle-level employees could buy, with their wages, mobile phones, plasma TVs, cars, motorbikes, and travel abroad.”
This exemplifies the regressive mindset of Argentina's wealthy class--a mindset that does not even qualify as capitalist (that generally accepts the idea of workers living better so that they can consume and be efficient).
No sir. Argentine's wealthy class has a semi-feudal state of mind that is behind Macri's plans. All they think about is to teach the poor (choripaneros, Ks, etc) a lesson. Through lies and propaganda as during the first year, or though repression as it's beginning to happen now.
”This exemplifies the regressive mindset of Argentina's wealthy class--a mindset that does not even qualify as capitalist (that generally accepts the idea of workers living better so that they can consume and be efficient).
That's 100% right. Our local enterpreneurship short sighted and ignorant. Nothing far from Manolo, that character that run a grocery store in Mafalda's comics.
In Argentina, a key Cambiemos character expressed it very transparently by saying that during the Kirchnerist governments people had lived an “illusion,” consisting in “believing that middle-level employees could buy, with their wages, ”mobile phones, plasma TVs, cars, motorbikes, and travel abroad.”
You have just described perfectly the tilingo class. That part of the middle class that has its roots in the Plata dulce” (Martinez de hoz) and ”Pizza and Champagne (Cavallo).
From my latter quote, I would totally assert that, indeed, Kirchnerism was an illusion. And a total lie to everybody that was hoping for a real change.
You might find it surprising that I supported Nestor until early 2007. That's when I realized he was just a piece of shite.
I voted for Macri, not because I compare him to Gandhi, but because I just knew from the start who I am dealing with. And that is precisely what the progres need in this counrty. A fuck1ng harsh reality check.
Enrique sees nothing wrong with everyone living on credit and then not paying their bills.
This discussion reminds me of a comment made to me by an Argentine, ”The protesters are always claiming it is their 'human right' to protest but what about my human right to get to work and to get home in the evening at a reasonable time without hours of delays because they are blocking roads'.
The changes to the law seem reasonable and well overdue. What a shame they were not there to stop the K thugs from intimidating opposition and smashing up the businesses of people opposed to CFK's regime.
The media has colluded for years to create this attitude. It is the MEDIA who everytime there is any police intervention against civilians in the streets label the procedure 'Repression': clearing a street protest, Repression. Moving people with water cannons, Repression. Evicting people who are squatting in someone's property, Repression. Arresting aggresive protesters who are already causing public damage, Repression.
The media is the one who in large part inculcated the culture that any form of civil disobedience is a human right, even those that take away the human rights of others. Everytime I see the word repression used so loosely when they describe some police attempt to stop insolent kids from damaging public fixture as repression it makes me want to puke and kick them in their face. They have no clue what true reprrssion is which exists as we speak in a great part of the world.
Well. At least, we know where we disagree--and I appreciate you explaining in detail why you support Cambiemos and president Macri.
In your view, A fuck1ng harsh reality check was needed in Argentina.
If I am not mistaken, you appear to believe that belt tightening is in order so that things can improve later.
If you do believe that, you are deeply mistaken.
The wealthy and powerful will keep telling the same lie time and again to hopeful populaces, but at the end of the day there is only more misery waiting--while those whose destiny is such enjoy the fruits of the exploitation.
Seen that movie already--know the end.
Look who was invited the other day to speak at the Oxford Union...;-)
D'you think Cameron or Blair would ever be invited to speak at the University of Buenos Aires?
Well, you are mistaken about my belief, I am not pairing a reality check with tightening the belt.
What I believe is that progressive people in this country just felt for leader that are worthless, liers and hypocrats. That's what I came to learn about Kirchnerism and most of the left movement in Argentina.
I believe that the true intent of these so called social organizations is for their leaders to gain privileges. I'm absolutely sure they are not out there for the betterment of society -neither is Macri, but I already knew that about him.
How dare you? That's heressy!
D'you think Cameron or Blair would ever be invited to speak at the University of Buenos Aires?
The only impediment I can envisage for such disertations by any of those honorable gentlemen at my Alma mater..., would be their high fees...
Surely Cameron's not worth that much? He wasn't exactly stunningly successful as PM and it's not like he needs the money. They should try inviting him just for the lulz, to see how many people protest.
What did you study at university?
You are wrong..., lad...
Both honorable gentlemen are worth a lot...
Just not for the type of young..., idealistic clientele likely to frequent Oxford's or UBA's dissertations...
He offers lessons in leadership at an extraordinary and turbulent time in global affairs – not least on building economic strength; creating inward investment across the UK and Europe against the backdrop of an emergent Russia and China; and navigating complex international security challenges.
Well, he can tell people how not to do it I guess. But yeah, no, he's not gonna appeal to students. I do remember at Uni the Tories were about as (un)popular as the SWP. Old idealists are not so common.
I sincerely believe any dissertation in which CFK participates is just a plain waste of time. The same is true for any lecture featuring Kiciloff. Certainly, these characters are not debate material.
...these so called social organizations...are not out there for the betterment of society -neither is Macri, but I already knew that about him.
That's a bit of a confusing statement, Tarquin.
But anyway. Let's take a look at some recent numbers, product of Macri's revolution of joy.
In 2016, as many as 68,314 jobs disappeared and 4,462 companies closed doors.
The Union Industrial Argentina said production fell 9 per cent in February, and 48,480 jobs were lost between Nov. 2015 and Nov. 2016.
Whatever one estimates the state of the country to have been at the end of 2015, it has deteriorated continuously since.
Today, Infobae reports that Argentina's foreign debt is now over USD 210 billion, having increased by $40 billion in 2016.
This unprecedented level of borrowing wasn't the effects of productive capital investment by any means; on the contrary, it was used to keep the lights on, that is, to finance operations.
Meanwhile, inflation so far shows the goal of 17 per cent for the current year will be left in the dust.
Horrendously high interest rates mean the country is deeply set in stagflation--a phenomen that Argentines have suffered in previous dark periods.
It's no wonder Macri's only dialogue takes the form of anti-riot forces. As people lose hopes, the president recognizes the time of the niceties is past.
Not a pretty sight.
Are you familiar with the concept of inertia? Do you really think that investments would multiply over night and that people will automatically be confident in the peso because a new government has arrived?
Stagflation started in 2012 I believe. And it won´t go away soon. No matter what any politician says. It will be a very long process until confidence is restored.
Forget about niceties. You should at least appreciate that this govt hasn´t embarked itself in some crazy shock policies like convertibility or selling every asset that belongs to the state.
In fact, social welfare has doubled during 2016. Not a pretty sight indeed. But good solutions take time. And the ones rioting are not exactly representative of the class that pay taxes and pay for what they consume. In fact, that is the class that make welfare possible and is asking out loud for certain order in the streets.
Haven't you ever wondered what social leaders and their associates do for a living? (besides protesting, of course)
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