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Cristina Fernandez invited to visit Europe and establish a closer dialogue

Tuesday, March 11th 2014 - 06:37 UTC
Full article 71 comments
The Argentine president next week will be flying to the Vatican and to Paris The Argentine president next week will be flying to the Vatican and to Paris

Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman has revealed that the European Union has requested direct talks with Argentina, after a meeting held between President Cristina Fernández and European Commission vice-president Antonio Tajani on the sides of the official inauguration of Michelle Bachelet as Chilean president.

 “Tajani told [Cristina] that the EU wishes to open a direct dialogue with Argentina and impressed on her the importance of the country for European investments as well as the importance of historical links” Timerman explained following the meeting between the pair, which was held in the Chilean capital of Santiago.

Timerman also signaled that the Italian director had extended an invitation for the president to “visit Europe”, in order to meet with “the principal European chambers of commerce in order to demonstrate their relationship with Latin America in general and Argentina in particular.”

The minister added that CFK had explained to Tajani “the need for Europe to open its markets to agricultural produce of added value, without the trade barriers that exist now.”

President Cristina Fernández is scheduled to fly to the Vatican next week to meet with Pope Francis on Monday 17 March, to allegedly congratulate the former Buenos Aires cardinal for his first anniversary as head of the Catholic Church.

From Rome the Argentine president flies to Paris where she will meet with her peer Francois Hollande and later inaugurate the Paris Book Show which will have an extraordinary presence of Argentine writers and books on this occasion.

However and according to Argentine financial sources Cristina Fernandez is expected to request President Hollande to lobby for Argentina at the Paris Club. Since 2001 Argentina has a pending state-to-state debt of over 10 billion dollars (capital plus interests), and although most countries are willing to accept the Argentine terms, Japan and Germany have a different position.

Japan wants payment in cash, a one lump sum or installments while together with Germany they demand, as written into the Paris Club rules, that the agreement should be audited by the IMF, to which Cristina Fernandez refuses point blank. She and her late husband former president Nestor Kirchner built much of their political reputation blaming the IMF and international creditors for Argentina's pains and sins.

However the EU invitation, according to Timerman's words, could be interpreted as a positive message towards Argentina and its current policy of trying or attempting to put some orthodox sense into its patched economy overwhelmed with subsidies and a burgeoning deficit.

Another motive of EU interest are the trade discussions with Mercosur, so far unable to finalize despite the good will and insistence from Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Apparently the only stumbling block or member dragging its feet is Argentina.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • LEPRecon

    So Cristina is going to Europe and taking her begging bowl with her. This is not news surely?

    What is news would be how much of the Argentine taxpayers money she'll be spending by using chartered (British no doubt) aircraft to ferry her about from one shopping opportunity...er...I mean meeting to another.

    Mar 11th, 2014 - 06:49 am 0
  • Gordo1

    I wonder whether the invitation has been extended by the right person as Tajani is not in charge of foreign relations at the European Union.

    Mar 11th, 2014 - 07:01 am 0
  • ilsen

    Sounds more like a covert summons to me

    Mar 11th, 2014 - 10:36 am 0
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