The most outspoken soldier of President Cristina Fernandez, Senator and former Cabinet Chief Aníbal Fernández regretted on Friday his controversial outburst on Thursday when he admitted having savings in dollars and it was nobody’s business what he did with his money.
“I've lost my temper, now I regret it,” the Senator explained in a radio interview on Friday. “I take full responsibility for it,” he added.
During a morning radio interview on Thursday Senator Fernández responded categorically to reporters who asked him why he had chosen to save dollars as it is stated in his last affidavit issued to the AFIP tax agency.
“Why do you care? That’s none of your business. Back then dollar purchases were open and I bought them legally” he fired. “I save dollars because I feel it's my right to do so”, Aníbal Fernández said in the midst of strict government controls on dollar purchases.
Earlier in the week he recommended Argentines “to begin thinking in Pesos” and warned those betting on a devaluation of the Peso. But at the same time admitted having savings in dollars because “I feel like it” and added he wouldn’t change them “because only idiots do that”.
But on Thursday evening he was seriously reprimanded in public by President Cristina Fernandez for his outburst and again on Friday turned to speak about the benefits of holding Pesos. However he regretted that “as a public figure I must show everything”.
Senator Fernandez did not discard that all those Argentine government officials with savings in US dollars are “instructed” to sell them, the same way they had to start paying non subsidized utility rates for power, gas and water last year.
“I don’t want to lose money and at some point I’ll end selling them (US dollars), yes why not in fixed term deposits”, said Fernandez who admitted that the value of the US dollar in the parallel market is ‘another’, but he insisted all his dollars were legally purchased: “All my money is declared…I have nothing to hide”.
Nevertheless his outburst earned him a public and ironic reprimand from President Cristina Fernandez in Government House during an official ceremony.
“How funny you are lately, Anibal! What have you been taking lately ‘wise-guy’ pills? President Cristina Fernandez told his loyal vociferous preacher before fellow lawmakers, ministers, top officials, union leaders and political leaders.
But later with the press Senator Fernandez discarded the president’s reference to the ‘wise-guy’ pills could be interpreted as a reprimand. “It was a joke, the President enjoys making jokes”.