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Riots and institutional crisis in Cristina Fernandez Santa Cruz province

Friday, December 30th 2011 - 06:07 UTC
Full article 26 comments
The legislature was unable to approve cuts in the budget to reduce the deficit The legislature was unable to approve cuts in the budget to reduce the deficit

Argentine President Cristina Fernández had to postpone on Thursday plans to fly to Santa Cruz where she is planning to spend New Year’s Eve with her son and daughter, following an institutional crisis and street rioting that left at least 23 injured and the resignation of several top posts in the provincial administration.

The Patagonian province of Santa Cruz has been the political springboard for Cristina Fernandez and her late husband and former president Nestor Kirchner. It is one of the least populated Argentine provinces but one of the richest with ample resources from mining, hydrocarbons and fisheries licensing plus high income tourism and cattle breeding.

And since the Kirchners are in Government House in Buenos Aires, Santa Cruz has enjoyed one of the fattest cheques (per capita) from federal sharing of funds plus ample public works projects.

However all this seems not to be enough and Santa Cruz’s governor Daniel Peralta’s plans for a budget deficit reduction generated serious incidents causing the resignation of the Secretary of Government and the removal of the Kirchnerite youth organization La Campora from the provincial administration. La Campora is managed by Kirchner’s son, Maximo.

Due to the incidents, the debate, which was scheduled to take place on the floor of the province’s Legislature Thursday afternoon, had to be suspended, and the province’s police chief resigned from his post after the clashes left 15 protesters and eight policemen injured, two of the officers in serious condition.  The police intervened when rioters tried to break into the provincial Legislature in order to protest the fiscal reduction.

The unionists protesting outside the building began hurling stones at the doors and windows of the provincial Lower House forcing the police to appeal to tear gas and rubber bullets. The police had to protect and escort lawmakers from the Legislature in their vans.

This incident prompted at least a dozen of La Cámpora officials to tender their resignation from the Santa Cruz government to the Peralta administration.

Although the ruling Kirchnerite group has 22 out of 24 seats in the provincial Lower House, the eight belonging to La Campora refuse to support cutting pensions, social benefits and suspending salary increases, and did not approve Governor Peralata’s forcing the adjournment of the session.

Some of the most controversial measures include increasing the retirement age from 54 to 65 for men and from 50 to 60 for women, plus elevating contributions to social security between 3% and 17% for pensioners and from 2% to 5% for the working population.


Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Teaboy2

    Lol and if argentinas economy was doing so well as the argy bloggers want us to believe then why are they taking such drastic actions of difict reduction, cutting pensions and social benefits, suspending salary increases and increasing retirement ages which adds to pensions cuts and will also result in more unemployed due to people working longer. These measures are only made when a country is facing deep economic issues, it seems argentina has left things late and are all of a sudden, now the election is other starting to act upon it, after leading the argentine population to believe the economy was doing really well prior to the election.

    Well done argentina, your people fell for your cover up hook line and sinker and some still believe your doing well economically.

    Dec 30th, 2011 - 06:34 am 0
  • lsolde

    Yes, Teaboy2 & this is one of the richer provinces!
    Don't worry, Santa Cruzians, things will be much better for you when we take over the province.
    Our claim is no more ridiculous than yours.♥

    Dec 30th, 2011 - 10:31 am 0
  • yankeeboy

    Argentina is in serious trouble, the price of Soy is down 6-8% this year, they have a drought like in 2008 where they harvested 70% of their typical crop and car exports are dying. All the hard currency has already been raided and the don't have the funds to pay off the Paris Club or the holdouts so they can't issue int'l bonds. This has been expected for years now it is finally at fruition. It will be fun to watch just wait until people are back from vacations in late Feb/March when it's hot and they can't afford to run the a/c, it is going to get ugly.
    BTW I would be rioting too if my gas, water, electricity and some taxes went up 300% in a month!

    Dec 30th, 2011 - 11:04 am 0
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