Uruguayan former president Jorge Batlle (2000/2005) said on Facebook that Argentina will again be a normal country when President Cristina Fernandez disappears from the political stage. And when this happens the Argentines are going to be happier and as a consequence so will we.
Cristina Fernandez on practical terms is not running the country, because of surgery recovery, but when she disappears from the political scene, Argentina will again become a normal country, wrote former president Batlle, (86).
The elder statesman became famous in Argentina when in 2002 he was caught with an open microphone saying that the Argentines are all a pack of thieves, from A to Z. He later had to travel to Buenos Aires to apologize but at the time with Argentina in the midst of a severe financial crisis when the country defaulted, opinion polls in Buenos Aires overwhelmingly supported his statement.
But Batlle also criticized President Jose Mujica's current foreign policy that he argued has not achieved absolutely nothing with his alleged 'friendship relation' with Cristina Fernandez and Argentina.
We're the victims of the worse possible aggressions between two countries, two neighborly countries for that matter and so close and intimate that we are almost the same, said Batlle who added we Uruguayans have also had difficulties with Argentina, but nobody, as Mujica, has managed that they reach the magnitude and disproportion we are currently living
Relations between the Uruguayan and Argentine governments turned nasty in recent weeks when Mujica authorized the Botnia/UPM pulp mill to increase annual production from 1.1 to 1.2 million tons, which was rejected point blank by Argentina.
The plant is located on the shores of the shared and jointly managed River Uruguay and the government of Cristina Fernandez and residents from the Argentine city of Gualeguaychú strongly oppose the plant alleging pollution reasons, which have yet to be proved.
This week in what was considered by Uruguay as a reprisal, Argentine authorities established strict maritime transport control measures banning Argentine exports through the port of Montevideo, which according to Uruguay's Navigation Centre and Chamber of Industries could cost the port losses of 100 million dollars and a significant percentage of its activity.
Batlle predicted that if Cristina Fernandez recovers faster than expected things are going to get far worse for Uruguay because since she definitively lost the midterm elections and her re-re-re-election dreams, the vengeance and hatred that these situations generate will have as its main target Uruguay.
However ”we need not worry much: President Mujica is virtually out of government and so is she. Be it Massa or Macri (the big winners of Sunday's election), or whoever, the only thing I'm sure is that it won't be Cristina and when she's out of the stage Argentina will again be a normal country, and Argentines are going to be far happier and as a consequence so will we be happier”.