Argentine President Alberto Fernández Friday said he was entertaining the idea that the country's capital should not be Buenos Aires, thus resurfacing a controversy from 1853-1860 which then-President Raúl Alfonsín also sough in the 1980s to reshape.
Every day I think if the capital should not be in another place than Buenos Aires, Fernández told his his ministers in cabinet meeting in Monteros, in the province of Tucumán, one of the so-called alternate capitals created to decentralize the federal government.
We have to realize that we have an enormous possibility of doing things differently. The pandemic has to be a moment of reflection. Rebuilding injustice does not make sense. We have to build another world. and another Argentina. And to build that Argentina no one is superfluous. We all need it. Those who vote for us and those who do not vote for us, Fernández said.
He also wondered if the Ministry of Mining should be in some mining province and that the Ministry of Fisheries should be in a fishing port in Patagonia
We do not exploit the same mountain range that has made Chile the first copper exporter on this side. Think how much we are losing there, added the president.
It is not possible for a boy who lives in the North to think that he can find better luck in the suburbs of the city of Córdoba, Rosario, or Buenos Aires. History tells that when they think that and end up emigrating from their cities, what they find there it is marginality and difficulties. And what we need is to value the Argentine North, a heap of unexploited wealth, Fernández insisted.
The President assured Argentina was growing at an accelerated pace and suggested it was the right moment to change things. Fernández also spoke about what federalism means for his Government and pointed out it was time to drop the Excel spreadsheet about how much we export, without noticing that some provinces export a lot and produce a lot and others very little.
President Fernández also referred to recent meetings he had with Russian envoys who estimated Argentina exploited only 40% of its potential. Isn't it time that we begin to take up these challenges and ask ourselves as a society how to do it?
The Alternate Capital Law was passed (27,589) in November 2020 in order to decentralize management with equitable public policies to overcome territorial asymmetries at Fernández's proposal.
In the 1980s, Alfonsín sought to move the capital to the twin cities of Viedma (Río Negro) and Carmen de Patagones (Buenos Aires). Between 1853 and 1860, the capital of Argentina was Paraná (Entre Ríos) while Buenos Aires remained a separate state.