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Second chapter of Buenos Aires battle over pension overhaul; 24 hour general strike

Tuesday, December 19th 2017 - 12:50 UTC
Full article 51 comments

Police and protesters clashed on Monday outside Argentina’s Congress as lawmakers debated a proposed pension overhaul that has angered retirees and prompted union leaders to wage a general strike. Read full article


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  • Enrique Massot

    This is what neoliberal governments do. Get elected promising one thing, and doing another once in power.
    As Carlos Menem said at the time, “If I had said what I was going to do nobody would have voted for me.”
    Of course, such governments need to resort to violence if the electors happen to protest.
    And they also need to make disingenuous statements about the rioters and how they prevent “democracy” from happening.
    Robbing the poor and giving to the rich is their constant obsession, as in the new pension law, approved with help from a group of turncoat province governors.
    No matter: last night's protest contained an element that should sound some alarm bells for Macri; in most Buenos Aires neighbourhoods the casseroles have reappeared in the hands of unorganized demonstrators.
    Not one can rob the people with total impunity.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 01:12 pm - Link - Report abuse -3
  • pgerman

    No any country can live by spending more money than it produces. Raising taxes is not the solution but to re-spend tax expenditure at a logical and affordable amount. After decades of right-wing populism, many Argentines believe that living for free, without working and subsidized is the “normal” way to live.

    The time has come to reduce the fiscal deficit. From now on, the work of this government will be to reduce the fiscal deficit.

    I am happy to see that the current Argentine government has the guts to start reducing benefits and subsidies even at the cost of losing popularity. I just hope that Macri has the courage to maintain this direction of government for the next two years.

    It is a question of survival of Argentina as a country.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 02:20 pm - Link - Report abuse +5
  • Lightning


    Associated Press:

    “Some retirees who were protesting the measure were caught up in the middle of the violence when some demonstrators hurled rocks and gasoline bombs, and riot police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets”


    What 'peaceful' protesters show up to a rally with gasoline bombs?

    That's ok, it's a rhetorical question.
    we know it is Kirchnerists.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 03:31 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Little J

    Mr. Massot,

    Until such time as the Kirshneristas can 1) accept defeat 2) behave in a democratic an legal manner the country will continue to suffer all sorts of problems

    Perhaps CFK and her cohorts could take a page out of the way Mrs. Bachelett and her candidate responded in defeat to Mr. Piñera in Chile. There were 'phone calls, public acceptance of defeat, visits to the winner and even a shared breakfast. What did Her Ladyship do as out going President?. Get into a complete huff, refuse to hand over to to the newly elected President Macri, the baton and sash of office, and conveniently “disappear” clearly demostratiing that they cannot accept defeat and will go to any extreme in order not to have to appear on the scene as the loser..................which of course she is.

    And of course have her goons encouraged tocause as much violence, vandalism, disruption, damage to property and a long excetera with the hope of stopping the democratic way of discussing laws in Congress, aided of course by her followers, Members of the Chamber of Deputies who did their utmost to disrupt the on going public debate. Until this situation is not ammended and true democracy prevails the future of this said democracy in Argentina in sadly at stake.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 04:23 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • imoyaro

    Well, well, well, looks like Kamerad/Komrade Rique's beloved violent methods seem to have had the reverse effect. Too bad, as they probably could have cobbled together a better approach. But with the destruction of private businesses, including those owned by pensioners, violent attacks against the police, and of course, Kamerad/Komrade Rique's favorite, burning people's cars, I have no doubt they decided to go through with it just to let the drug running, firebomb throwing, prosecutor murdering NarcoKleptocrats know they weren't going to pull a “De La Rua” this time around.

    Bummer, eh, Kamerad/Komrade?

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 04:53 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • bushpilot

    I'm curious, what is going to happen to Macri's pension in all of this?

    What kind of a cut is he going to take?

    What cut in pension are the legislators going to take?

    Fiscal health has to be, I agree. What also must be is that if Macri and these legislators want to diminish retirees' futures, their future and their pensions have to be cut first, and not just with smoke and mirrors lying.

    These politicians raiding the people's benefits and still stuffing their own wallets is absolutely not right.

    There is great deal people in all western democracies need to do to correct this flaw.

    This quote, by whoever, is wholly applicable to this situation:

    “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty; power is ever stealing from the many to the few.”

    People are responsible for their governments. You have to watch the animals you elect to power every second. They can't wait for you to go to sleep.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 05:24 pm - Link - Report abuse +5
  • Tarquin Fin

    Last night, 9 to 10 PM, I noticed that familiar sound.
    It started slow then intensified some more.
    Pot banging.??
    I got out of the apt. and made two blocks just to check what it was all about.
    I just went up to the group -about 50 of them, assorted age groups- and just asked them.
    “We are against the pension reform!!” some of them answered.
    I just looked around for a couple of minutes and went back home. Didn't get arrested or struck by a rock.

    Enrique, I hope you now get the difference between valid and violent ways of protesting.

    Just to clarify, I now live in a quite diverse neighborhood. Colegiales, close to the train station.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 05:28 pm - Link - Report abuse +8
  • The Voice

    Rique, a little advice for you...

    Mr Micawber's famous, and oft-quoted, recipe for happiness: ”Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery ;-(


    Dec 19th, 2017 - 05:52 pm - Link - Report abuse +5
  • DemonTree

    So they did pass the reform. I wonder how many votes Macri will get from the pensioners in the next election?

    The UK's deficit has fallen this year, which is nice. Unfortunately it's still projected to be £48bn for the year ending March 2018. Would you vote to end the triple lock on pensions to help with this problem? It is the government's largest single expenditure afaik.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 06:05 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • The Voice

    DT, no, I would scrap the Aircraft Carriers, the associted aircraft, HS2, cap public service, services, judges and University pay at £150,000. HMRC investigative staff should be doubled. Scrapping the triple lock wouldnt do anything because inflation is the thing governing pensioners increases and its more than 2.5% at the moment. Taking money from 80 year olds on a basic pension would be evil. I have no objection to means testing pensioners.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 07:03 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • imoyaro

    And Macri makes a statement...

    http: //

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 07:46 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • golfcronie

    Enrique is very quiet at the moment, things not going to plan. No peaceful 24 hr strike, just firebombing and destruction by the great unwashed.most countries have an element of malcontents thriving on mayhem and destruction of innocents property.A few cracked skulls are called for.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 08:07 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Sounds reasonable. I should think Corbyn might agree to scrap the Carriers and to pay caps, but apparently Labour are now in favour of HS2, dunno why.

    Perhaps Macri should scrap Argentina's remaining submarines and other military and start investigating all the people hiding money offshore - starting with himself, of course.

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 08:14 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • imoyaro

    @ golfcronie
    Actually, the violence was what he was counting on, he's an extremist. What didn't happen was the K thugs failed to take the Congress building and Macri was not forced to flee the capital for his life, like De La Rua was. Instead, the NarcoKleptocrats were held at bay for several days and despite the Peronists trying to sabotage the debate, the vote was held after 17 hours on the last day, 14 hours of which were taken up by the Peronists trying to delay and sabotage the process. I'm sure Kamerad/Komrade Rique is a very sad and angry wannabe revolutionary at this point... ;)

    Dec 19th, 2017 - 08:24 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Lightning



    Dec 19th, 2017 - 11:50 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Little J: Actually Cristina's approach is better than Bachelet's, it acknowledges the extreme social misery Macri was going to impose, the deliberate wanton destruction of her legacy of social inclusion, and as a badass potra she was far too honest to turn up to a celebration of that. To be fair to Bachelet I don't know if she is being so overly civil with Pinera because she is worse than Cristina, or if she just doesn't think he's as bad as Macri - of course if its the latter I hope she's right!

    bushpilot: Very good rhetorical question about the austerity politicians in general, but Macri will be all right, with all his offshore accounts!

    imo: Its funny how your still fulminating against “the Peronists”, seeing as it was turncoat Peronists who passed your beloved pensions law...

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 11:38 am - Link - Report abuse -4
  • golfcronie

    Social inclusion = handouts.

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 01:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Always? Good god you're a nasty piece

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 03:14 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Zaphod Beeblebrox


    “This is what neoliberal governments do. Get elected promising one thing, and doing another once in power.”

    This is what ALL governments do. CFk certainly did! Democracy is choosing the least worst option.

    “Of course, such governments need to resort to violence if the electors happen to protest.”

    Not at all. They don't have to resort to violence if the protest is peaceful. But if the protest is violent (as this one most clearly was) then it is their duty to defend themselves, other citizens, property and (in this case) the democratic process to the best of their ability.

    “And they also need to make disingenuous statements about the rioters and how they prevent “democracy” from happening.”

    They are not disingenuous statements if they are supported by evidence. Did you not see the images of rioters throwing rocks, molotov cocktails and odd home made explosive devices?

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 07:05 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Change the record. Future governments will benefit 1) by the reduction of government expenses, 2) by the increase in investments in the infrastructure...and the winner will be ? ...the population. Just like in Brazil 23 years ago....the PT voted, lock, stock and barrel against the plano Real, but when they saw, to their chagrin, that it was highly successful, and was a big step towards reducing poverty, the PT started insinuating they had been the mentors of the plan...just give time to time to see who's right.

    If Macri is having the balls to do what's right, even at the expense of his popularity, don't you think he should be given credit ? or would you favour a president who only did what would make him popular ? (short term thinking) ; that's not how running a country is done. He's only trying to guarantee that in, say 10 years, there'll still be enough money coming in, to pay pensions...something the populists know damned well, but vote against it to ensure the stupid masses keep them in power. If Macri is not re-elected, it'll just prove that the majority of Argentines isn't much brighter than the Brazilians.

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 08:53 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    I don't believe Macri is thinking of what happens in 10 years' time, but of the deficit during the rest of his term. It was already big and some of his policies have worsened it, so he needs to save money. He had a choice of what to cut and he picked pensions; perhaps he could have found something else that did not hit the old and the poor hardest, but I don't really know.

    Can you tell us other options there were to cut spending and reduce the deficit?

    Dec 20th, 2017 - 10:43 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • The Voice

    Reekie knows little about Argieland, he is just like you and I, he doesnt live there. Its pointless asking him anything.

    Dec 21st, 2017 - 09:49 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • British_Kirchnerist

    DT: “Can you tell us other options there were to cut spending and reduce the deficit?”

    If I can speak for EM, how about not doing this:

    Dec 21st, 2017 - 10:52 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    He's not just like you and me; he may have left Argentina before I was born, but two of his children live there and he keeps up with what is going on. Also he called Macri 'our dancing president', so clearly he still thinks of himself as Argentine.

    Sure, that is exactly what I was expecting EM to say. Stop cutting taxes and increase them instead. But that's not Macri's platform. Suppose he didn't reduce taxes any more, what else could he cut to balance the budget instead of pensions?

    Dec 21st, 2017 - 12:07 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • British_Kirchnerist

    “Also he called Macri 'our dancing president'”

    He really isn't much of a dancer compared to Cristina!

    Dec 21st, 2017 - 12:18 pm - Link - Report abuse -4
  • Jack Bauer

    Well, if Macri isn’t thinking of getting accounts balanced to allow a better future, what’s the point in cutting deficits ? if that’s not sufficient reason, then keep on spending until the country goes bankrupt ; the approval of the reform of the pension system, making it compatible with the country’s reality, will have positive effects that far outlast his presidency. Even IF it is intended to reduce the deficit only until the end of his term – which makes little economic sense - what exactly would the problem be ?? it would be up to the next president to carry on with the same policy, or fiscal austerity.

    If Macri picked the pension system to start the reforms, in order to save money, it is only natural …it is usually the single largest deficit producer, and most times accumulating over decades, due to unfair practices (public sector taking out much more per capita than the private sector, without having paid more in to the system to justify it), or because the economic situation over the years has caused less and less people to contribute (unemployment) while more and more are on the receiving end (retirement)….doesn’t take a genius to see where that unbalanced equation will lead to. I’m pretty sure that the pension system is not the only one to be “attacked”….there’s probably a lot of room to improve saving in all other areas, starting with the elimination of immoral privileges of the political class, and corruption…which, as everyone knows, is next to impossible because it requires politicians to cut into their own flesh.

    Dec 21st, 2017 - 02:58 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    He's hilariously bad, that's why I like him.

    He kind of has to reduce the deficit, he's cut so many taxes that it's growing alarmingly, and there's a limit to how much he can borrow. I don't know if he's thinking of the future at all, but it's not like the situation in Brazil where it's not particularly urgent right now but everyone agrees the system needs reform. It's rather that having already cut taxes he also has to cut spending, and pensions are, as you say, a large item in the budget.

    Probably there are other areas for saving, but he's not likely to go after the people hiding their money offshore given that he is one of them. Also he promised to reduce the number of people employed in the public sector but actually managed to increase it instead. So much for making savings there.

    Dec 22nd, 2017 - 01:12 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pirat-Hunter

    THe stupid argentines will go back to work the smart people will stay in the strike because going to work to live in poverty is now t smart. Strike. Strike strike for ever strike.

    Dec 23rd, 2017 - 04:36 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • imoyaro

    This guy is hilarious...

    Dec 23rd, 2017 - 07:03 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Chicureo

    Time to ignore the ignorant as yourself.
    ¡La Paz!

    Dec 23rd, 2017 - 07:50 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Jack Bauer

    Having money offshore is not necessarily a crime.....depending on how one gets it, might be, and not declaring it, is....despite the probability that most of this money is the result of receiving bribes while in public office, one also has to consider its the only way (for less dishonest) people to protect their money against high inflation....but with “professional” politicians it probably is the result of dishonest deals.

    As to increasing the number of people employed by the public sector, I haven't had a chance to read about that, but sometimes one has to sack people where they are not needed and to take on more where they are (needed)....would have to see the numbers, before and after more employess were taken on, and in which areas.

    Dec 23rd, 2017 - 09:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    No, it's not necessarily a crime. However, we might prefer the President to have his assets invested in his own country, so he has a personal stake in running it well. Besides, often it is something that would be a crime if the rich people in question hadn't bribed some politician to make sure it is legal.

    Macri and the public sector:

    One might well think that if those employees really were all needed, Macri ought not have criticised CFK for employing Ñoquis...

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 12:16 am - Link - Report abuse -2
  • Kanye


    May I say, in this season of brotherly love and giving, that I am very impressed with your insights.

    You entered MP with your mind a blank slate, and an appetite to question both sides of the issue.

    You were not afraid to give the “Trolls” an even break, nor pursue your fellow countrymen to explain our positions.

    You have progressed so quickly in the past year to become a predominating poster on any subject, with a remarkable ability to research Spanish-language articles from sources few Islanders or “Anglos” would attempt to access.

    You have apparently mastered an ability to recall conversations and subjects from the MP archives, that would confound the casual user of this site.

    Bravo, sir!

    Quite remarkable, really!

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 04:16 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Yes DT I concur - your a very impressive and reasonable poster (even if occasionally wrong!) =) On that dance video, I see what you mean about Macri being hilariously bad, his dance partner Vidal seems more competent but very wooden and stilted, just like her persona that Cristina so brilliantly parodied

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 09:45 am - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Lightning


    “Vidal seems more competent but very wooden and stilted, just like her persona that Cristina so brilliantly parodied”

    Just as Kretina's dancing next to Scioli is hilariously parodied !

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 10:46 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Cristina's dancing is badass and full of personality - the opposite of Vidal's

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 01:43 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • DemonTree

    Happy Christmas, Kanye. Long time no see.

    Podrías haber empezado a aprender español también. Although to be fair I've never heard of that second website before, either. :)

    Would you prefer that I only listen to people who say what I want to hear? I wasn't inclined to believe the anti-British posters to start with, but I've changed my mind on several things since I started posting here.

    What am I wrong about? CFK not being the most beautiful girl in the world? I thought Vidal's dancing was fine, but I'm no expert.

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 02:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    ”However, we might prefer the President to have his assets invested in his own country, so he has…”…a noble thought, but not exactly practical. No president has a magic wand to change reality (inflation) overnight…and if the money was the result of legal activities, such as business, not politics ?
    The article concedes that Macri’s increase in federal expenditure went mainly towards energy, transport and social assistance subsidies…not all bad. It goes on to compare Macri’s numbers regarding creation of new Ministries, public agencies, new employees etc, to CFK’s….given that Macri has only just ended his 2nd year, the percentage increases for CFK were far greater, but can’t remember whether she was ever criticized because of it ; one example the article mentions, the number of federal servants in 2003 (460,000) and at end of 2016 (739,000)…it tries to imply that the difference 279,000, was taken on by Macri, in 2 years, but we don’t know many there were when CFK left office end 2015. And another important factor is the quality of the new hirings...are you sure they're all “ñoquis” ?

    Anyway, Merry Christmas to all, regardless of political views, and may 2018 be better than 2017..

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 03:05 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Aye mainly that DT, at least I think that was your main beef with me ;) Anyway your right more often than your wrong and always reasonable and thought out with it, refreshingly so not just for here but for most of the internet =)

    And I've just upvoted Jack for his last paragraph, a fine wish and right back at you all =)

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 03:57 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • DemonTree

    Ordinary citizens don't get to put their savings in tax havens, they have to suffer inflation and have a lot less control than any president. Why shouldn't the politicians put their money where their mouths are, or rather where their own policies can affect them the same as the voters if their policies cause inflation and recession?

    It says CFK created 6 ministries and 20 secretaries of state in 8 years, and Macri created 5 more ministries, and 17 secretaries of state in only his first 2 years, which is pretty quick work for someone who promised to cut the public sector. CFK certainly was criticised for having too many public sector workers, but I don't know if specifically for creating more ministries. She was frequently accused of employing unnecessary people in non-jobs just to give money to her supporters. I don't know if there really were ñoquis, under either president, but it seems to me that people can't have it both ways. Either those workers were and are needed, or else Macri has fired CFK's ñoquis and replaced them with his own.

    And hear, hear for your last line. Merry Christmas to all, regardless of politics.

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 06:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    If ordinary 'honest' citizens have salaries which permit them to save, why not ? why oblige them to suffer local inflation and get negative returns on investments ? As to why politicians get away with murder it's what I've been saying all along...if they are dishonest, secret accounts in tax-havens are just a mere detail.
    Here in Brazil a very common practice amongst the rich & wealthy, and this includes 90% of all politicians, is the use of what they call “laranjas” (oranges), or front-men who only “officially” own the hidden assets of others. That is exactly where Lula is being caught out, as he is unable to satisfactorily explain the inconsistencies in his defence, without resorting to outright, obvious lies. Tax havens in themselves aren't the problem, it's the damned politicians who steal.
    As I've also said before, plea-bargains should be given more credit, specially if backed by undeniable evidence, because why would executives be willing to incriminate themselves if they hadn't committed any crimes ? and for every corrupter there's someone being corrupted.

    Macri's increase in public servants needs to be further analyzed - need to know the reason for taking on more employees, for what and where...the numbers themselves don't tell the whole story. Once known , and if to only gain political support (ñoquis), then should be condemned.
    To show how the inflation of workers in public agencies can work, years ago, our mayor (Janio Quadros) made a surprise visit to several municipal offices, and left strict instructions that whoever did not turn up for work next day, would be fired. Realizing he was serious, all public servants of these agencies turned up...when Janio arrived next day to check, there were more people standing in the corridors than those sitting at their those standing were sacked. Many times increasing the nbr of public servants does not translate into better public services, a good reason to check things out

    Dec 24th, 2017 - 08:39 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Are ordinary citizens able to put their money abroad to protect it from inflation? And hide it from tax at the same time? Here only wealthy people are able to make use of tax havens because it's just not worth the effort unless you have a lot of money. And I think they are a problem even if the money is not stolen, because they are unfair on all the people who do pay their taxes. As for the plea bargains, it's not executives incriminating themselves I would worry about. Why would they not incriminate someone else, whether that person is guilty of what they are accused of or not, in order to buy themselves a reduced sentence?

    “Macri's increase in public servants needs to be further analyzed...”

    True, and I haven't done it. But I didn't look into it for CFK either; everyone said they were ñoquis and I assumed it must be true. Now I'm not so sure. But funny story, anyway.

    Dec 25th, 2017 - 11:49 pm - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Jack Bauer

    it is not common, but neither uncommon for ordinary, working citizens from the upper middle class, to have a foreign bank account...and not necessarily in a tax-haven. While not facilitated by the government, and by what I've read, believe it's not illegal as long as you declare the assets in your Income Tax and can justify the origin of the funds, if required to.
    While interest abroad is near to 'zero', being there at least protects one's savings (n.b.: “after” local taxation) from inflation . What Dilma went after (starting 2011) with the “repatriation act”, were undeclared accounts, that held huge amounts, anything from tax evasion, bribes , you name it....the idea was that any money that was repatriated (to improve the lousy fiscal situation of the government) would become legalized after paying a 15 % tax, plus a 15% fine, both on the full amount...people who had earned the money legally (which obviously excludes most politicians) were understandably loath to bring it back as it meant double taxation..The plan was a failure, in that it brought back probably less than 5% of what was expected ('n mainly from politicians), and to whom , in practise, it became a legal loophole to launder their stolen money.
    Sure, the plea-bargains are a way for those charged with corruption to reduce their sentence, but what I'm getting at is that an executive who is charged with bribing, is only squealing on a politician who demanded it , to enable business to carry on as usual. Listening to the details of some plea bargains, with dates, amounts, to whom money was paid, it would be hard to invent such stuff, besides being supported by spreadsheets 'n docs buried deep in the company's digital files. Odebrecht even had it's own, secret bribe department.
    The whistle-blower only receives the benefit of the plea-bargain if it can be backed up with proof...and why wouldn't an executive spill the beans to save his ass ? Why go to jail to protect a corrupt politician ?

    Dec 26th, 2017 - 02:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Little J


    Ref your posting of 6 days back. Following your train of thought, which in no way justifies that the out-going President was not willing to hand over to the in-going President the accoutrements of office. The same situation as described by you, should have been followed by Barrack Obama, who was perfectly aware that Donald Trump has a completely different point of view on many issues, belongs to a different political party, etc.. Following your logic Obama should not have been present at Trump's inauguration thereby boicoting a democratic procedure which should have been respected and followed through by Mrs. Kirschner.....................but of course that would be too much to ask.

    Dec 26th, 2017 - 03:48 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Being in a different party isn't enough, but actually there's a good argument to say that Obama should have done just that with and not normalised the KKK's candidate. But then he was never as progressive or as tough as Cristina

    Dec 26th, 2017 - 04:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    7% is far from an ‘overall’ improvement. Apologize for misunderstanding, but ok, you don’t think the ‘robot’ idea is a good one. You agree that, at least for most, having a challenge in life is important. Trust human creativity will come up with solutions, provided the problems aren’t aggravated by bad governments. Yr theory however, still doesn’t explain the origin of the currency to remunerate economic activity (taxes? who'll pay?), and presumes that what's rcvd by those who are forced into retirement, is actually free. I do agree that to get humans to be positive contributors, they need some kind of incentive. Chavez’s later elections weren't democratic, but total frauds, as have been all of Maduro’s; the word “democracy” is used to deceive the not-so-bright. Chavez was a lousy ‘leader’, 'n Maduro is no more than an idiot.

    Lula’s 2 sons are being investigated by the IRS and the Fed.Police. His eldest ,Luis Claudio, amongst other things, for receiving R$ 2.4 million as a consultancy fee from a marketing company (involved with Lula) for a report, copied in its entirety from the internet. A bribe for daddy. In 2009 he worked actively, under Lula, to get DL 471 approved (extending fiscal benefits for co.’s in the auto industry)…in exchange for bribes, as per one the Federal charges against Lula. His younger son, Fabio Luis, the poop cleaner, after Lula was elected, opened a company named Gamecorp. It was soon bought up for R$ 5 million, by a giant telecommunications giant, in exchange for favors from Lula. Another federal charge. Between 2012/2014, although owning only 50% of the shares in another dubious company, he received 100/96/62% resp., of the declared profit, R$ 3.8 million. Like Lula, he also pays no rent for his flat - in one of SP’s best neighborhoods – which “belongs” to his biz partner. Lula’s nephew, Taiguara, also investigated, rcvd R$ 20 million from Odebrecht, for 'consultancy' fees in Angola. Accdng to Odebrecht, a bribe.

    Dec 27th, 2017 - 05:09 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • British_Kirchnerist

    JB Thanks for the chapter and verse on the allegations against Lula's family. Its not pretty, but even if true sounds more like him accommodating with an already corrupt system than setting out to corrupt a clean one. And the idea that Odebrecht is a reliable source if (if he's telling the truth) he WAS the source of the bribe sounds a bit like having it both ways, no?

    Do you agree, btw, that Dilma was the most personally uncorrupt Brazillian politician and also as a stricter manager than Lula did a lot to clean up the government under her? I support Lula against the oligarchic attempts to put him in jail (and the fascist threat of Bolsinaro, would be interested in what you think of the Tropical Trump btw) but I wish she could run again actually

    Dec 27th, 2017 - 06:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    What is upper middle class in Brazil? Like, what percentage of the population would that be? I don't see a problem with foreign bank accounts as long as they are not in tax havens, but politicians ought to set a good example (obv. an absurd idea in Brazil, but ideally...)

    “an executive who is charged with bribing, is only squealing on a politician who demanded it”

    Possibly. But if you were an executive who only dealt with low level people, and the judges wanted you to name someone important instead, wouldn't you be tempted to lie? If they can give details that are corroborated that makes it more convincing, of course. Or if they call up the President and get him to talk about bribing people while recording the call.

    “Yr theory however, still doesn’t explain the origin of the currency to remunerate economic activity”

    If you can't tax the workers any more because there aren't any, they could tax the robots instead, or rather, whoever owns them. Money doesn't have any value in itself, it just represents the value of all the goods and services that are produced, whether by humans or robots. Probably we will come up with some jobs that only humans can do, but I don't know whether that will be all people. You can educate people better, but you certainly can't turn everyone into Einstein.

    Weren't there observers at the VZ elections? I though that until recently they were mostly democratic. Chavez and then Maduro maintained their popularity by spending freely, funded by the oil money that has now dried up, so they didn't need to resort to cheating until a few years ago.

    I totally disagree with you about CFK and Obama's handovers. Sulking and refusing to participate just makes CFK look bad; the respect is for the office, not whatever idiot is elected to it.

    But I do think the corruption in Brazil is longstanding and easily predates Lula. The amount of backdoor campaign contributions alone would make it very difficult for anyone not involved to get elected.

    Dec 27th, 2017 - 06:57 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • British_Kirchnerist

    DT “I totally disagree with you”

    That's ok I upvoted you anyway for (most of) your reply to Jack =) But on the handovers we need to remember that Cristina wasn't “sulking”, she was initially perfectly willing to take part but drew the line at organising while still President an unconventionally partisan victory party for Macri. He then spoke to her in a gender-violent way in the handover discussions, and a crooked judge stripped her of the Presidency 12 hours early in order for Macri to be in charge of his own inauguration. So for her to turn up to a celebration of all that would be, in my humble submission m'lud, a bit much to ask.

    “so they didn't need to resort to cheating until a few years ago”

    They still haven't as far as I can tell - the opposition even win sometimes. But given their programme for government that makes Macri look like Nye Bevan and their election campaign tactics include burning down hospitals its no surprise they usually don't.

    “But I do think the corruption in Brazil is longstanding and easily predates Lula. The amount of backdoor campaign contributions alone would make it very difficult for anyone not involved to get elected.”

    Indeed - which makes the election and re-election of the scrupulously clean Dilma even more of an achievement, and goes some way to explaining how she ended up impeached by politicians whose own pockets were groaning under the weight of bribes

    Dec 27th, 2017 - 10:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    I don't know any details about the handover. Since you suggested Obama should have done the same I assumed it was pretty ordinary. What did Macri want that was unusually partisan? And what does speaking to her in a gender violent way mean?

    And about Venezuela, the opposition did win a majority in the National Assembly, that is why Maduro and his own set of partisan judges have stripped it of power and created this Constituent Assembly instead. I assume it was fear of losing that made them block the recall referendum, and it's fear of losing that is making them ban the main opposition from standing in the upcoming elections. We've seen enough times some leader take over with supposedly high ideals and turn himself into a dictator.

    As for Dilma, my opinion is that she didn't steal for herself, but she took illegal contributions for her campaign just like the others, and as chair of Petrobras she must have known what was going on. I do give her credit for letting the corruption investigations continue, however, and I suspect that was part of the reason for her impeachment, along with dislike for her economic management in the recession.

    Dec 27th, 2017 - 10:40 pm - Link - Report abuse -1
  • Jack Bauer

    BK - Allegations ? No, proof ; Corruption here, used to be more of an individual effort, not a criminal organization installed in Govt, in order to professionalize corruption, ‘n remain unnoticed…until the owner of a small biz, trying to get a govt contract, suddenly found himself involved in a corruption scheme…afraid of the consequences, he went to the Feds ; they told him to carry on, and wear a wire ; he met his contacts in a car wash - thus the name “Lavajato”; we know the rest. As a union leader (early 70’s), Lula used to instigate strikes, to end them when he wanted, for personal gain; his appetite for corruption was evident, even back then; as they say here, “someone who’s never tasted honey, when he does, gets sticky fingers”. Dilma, while not as corrupt as Lula, was his puppet ; besides incompetent, she was not incorruptible – her daughter, strangely enough, also became a flaming biz success, just like Lula’s ‘kids’, immy after ‘mommy’was elected. It was not M.Odebrecht who blew the cover on the corruption scheme, but he did present proof of his allegations, reason why he’s now only under house arrest. He agreed to pay billions in fines. While Trump had interesting ideas, as versus Obama’s, he unfortunately has no idea how to present them. BO, HRC, imo, were nothing to write home about, but let history judge them once the passions die down.

    DT - upper middle class (‘A’), earns over USD 5,000/mth, and is 1% of the population. Another 11% (‘B’) earn btwn USD 2 and 5,000. This 12% in in effect, determines the economic future of Brazil. Only the highest level executives were involved in corruption, and most, corrupt by nature. Again, if allegations can't be proved, they're INvalidated... so why lie ? Ryr ‘robot’ theory, may I suggest we agree to disagree ? Foreign observers (even fm Bzl), left VZ in disgust when refused access to the election process. Exactly, Chavez, Maduro maintained their popularity by spending ‘freely’, the reason why VZ is bankrupt.

    Dec 28th, 2017 - 11:42 pm - Link - Report abuse -1

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