By David Gallagher
(Ed. Note: Gallagher, a columnist for the conservative daily El Mercurio, is a man of many parts. He's British and Chilean, former Oxford professor of Spanish and Russian, author of the classic Modern Latin American Literature (1973), economist, investment banker, international business consultant, and father to children living on three continents.
(In this column he remarks that the “previous government”—that is Michelle Bachelet’s — “privileged imagery over reality.” One example: to celebrate a significant date, Bachelet cut the ribbon on a new hospital empty of equipment but filled with patients who were actually actors and who pretended to be ill for the press.)
Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim was the latest high ranking official to complain about the limitations applied to bilateral trade with Argentina and said it was imperative for the country to understand that Brazil is a huge market.
Economics Nobel Prize Joseph Stiglitz said it was time to end with the “authority” that countries have deposited in risk assessment agencies and which “have not done things correctly” and have been an essential factor in giving “the global crisis a nice boost”.
Argentine Defence minister Nilda Garré said that four navy patrol vessels will be sent to the “Mar Argentino” (South Atlantic) to show presence and the willingness of Argentina to exercise sovereignty over the (Argentine) Falklands/Malvinas Islands.
Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner assured that there weren't, nor ever will be, barriers blocking Brazilian imports, after holding a meeting in Rio de Janeiro with her Brazilian counterpart Lula da Silva, a gathering she classified as more than good.
On an article published Friday in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Argentine Finance Secretary Hernán Lorenzino warned about the IMF dangerous policies like the ones proposed to help Greece leave its crisis behind.
According to the 2010 World Ranking of Mercer's Quality of Life, Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago are the best major cities in South America to live although they compare poorly with the top ten mostly from Europe, Canada, NZ and Australia.
Colombia goes to the polls Sunday in unusual circumstances for its recent history, with a technical tie between the top two presidential candidates who lead the pack of six contestants.
Risk rating agency Fitch downgraded Spain’s sovereign debt on Friday one notch from AAA to AA+ with an outlook of stable, saying that the country’s economic recovery is likely to be difficult and prolonged.
International Monetary Fund (IMF) praised Peru as a clear example of how to enforce the right economic policies since its GDP this year is expected to grow 5 to 7%.