MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, October 25th 2021 - 10:30 UTC

 

 

Cristina Fernandez proposes a new capital for Argentina and compares herself with San Martín

Wednesday, August 27th 2014 - 20:21 UTC
Full article 85 comments
Her proposal is to move the capital to Santiago del Estero, 'closer to the Pacific' and where elections are scheduled for Sunday Her proposal is to move the capital to Santiago del Estero, 'closer to the Pacific' and where elections are scheduled for Sunday
In 1986 then president Ricardo Alfonsin decreed the move of the Argentine capital to Viedma in Patagonia. In 1986 then president Ricardo Alfonsin decreed the move of the Argentine capital to Viedma in Patagonia.

Argentine president Cristina Fernandez threw her weight behind moving the capital Buenos Aires to the northern province of Santiago del Estero, an idea hitherto only pioneered by Lower House Speaker Julian Domínguez.

 The unexpected proposal “for a new territorial design in a changing world” came during a visit to that provincial capital to inaugurate infrastructural works ahead of this Sunday’s elections in the northern province.

This marked the first time that a serving Argentine president has proposed a change of capital since Raul Alfonsin announced the transfer of the seat of government to the Rio Negro coastal town of Viedma in 1986 (an initiative which obviously never became reality).

But unlike Alfonsin, CFK stressed the necessity of the new capital being in the heart of the country and even though she herself spends almost every weekend deep south in her Calafate home in Santa Cruz, she also recommended a city lying further to the north rather than the Patagonian Viedma of Alfonsin’s choice.

Although long regarded as a hinterland backwater, Santiago del Estero has been rising fast in Argentine politics. Late last year its two-term governor Gerardo Zamora (legally barred from re-election and installing his wife in his place) had barely entered the Upper House as a newly elected senator when he was named its provisional head, a move many pundits saw as a reaction to the growing legal entanglements of Vice-President Amado Boudou.

Zamora was reportedly given preference because, as a maverick from the opposition Radical party, he had no independent power base, unlike his Peronist colleagues.

Whereas Alfonsin decreed the move to Viedma in 1986, CFK stressed that she was only presenting “an idea which must be discussed and thought through by all Argentines.”

One of the main virtues of the new capital, said CFK, would be being closer to the Pacific, which she saw as the future hub of the world, the “strategic thinking” which she said corresponds to leaders of a country. The latter should not rule just thinking of the four or eight years they are in charge but 50 years ahead.

In order to underline her determination, CFK said she would not be deterred even if opinion polls showed 80% to be against the idea.

“If (independence hero José de) San Martín had had to consult the opinion polls before crossing the Andes to liberate Chile and Peru, they would have been negative,” she said.

Santiago del Estero in 1.150 north of Buenos Aires and the provincial capital has a population of 361.000.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • CabezaDura2

    You need railways and superhighways across the Andes to reach the Pacific with goods, shifting the capital though I agree should be done is not going to solve by itself the problem of centralism if substantial tax and administrative power is returned to the Provincial governments.

    That being said I dont think nor know for certain how serious she is about this. Its most likely another smokescreen and focus the debate away from the economic woes of the country.

    Aug 27th, 2014 - 08:40 pm 0
  • Frank

    Looks like a vote buying exercise to me...

    Aug 27th, 2014 - 08:46 pm 0
  • 4n conTroll

    There should be an Anschluß with Uruguay, reform the Federated Provinces of the South (instead of the United Provinces, since now we are a federation), and the capital should be moved to Montevideo. I have always advocated this.

    Aug 27th, 2014 - 08:51 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!