A “nutty” initiative, Tierra del Fuego governor Gustavo Melella described the proposal by several Argentine lawmakers to create in Congress a Malvinas Islands bench, which would remain empty covered with an Argentine flag until the legitimate occupier arrives, a symbolic sovereignty claim over the Islands 'usurped' by Great Britain.
Governor Melella recalled that the 'usurped' archipelago, under Argentine law, is already in the jurisdiction of Tierra del Fuego province, and thus has representation in the national Congress.
It is saddening that a group of national lawmakers disavows the conformation of the Argentine provinces and propose a bill to create a bench referred to a territory that has congressional representation. It is even more regrettable when three of the sponsors belong to Patagonia provinces, underlined Melella.
The initiative mainly from opposition lawmakers was headed by Alberto Asseff and presented to the Argentine congress at the end of February ahead of the 40th anniversary commemoration of the Falklands/Malvinas war.
This is not only an attack on the integrity of our province, but also is again a profound expression of the importance of the Malvinas question for all members of congress. The Malvinas Islands, plus South Georgia and South Sandwich islands and adjoining maritime spaces, as well as Argentine Antarctica, are an integral part of the Tierra del Fuego province, which has a representation of five members of the Lower House and three Senators, added the governor.
The dissident sponsors belong to the same political space that let Malvinas fall to the bottom of Argentina's foreign policy priorities when they signed the regrettable Foradori-Duncan accord in 2016, which resumed fisheries cooperation with the British while unilateral actions persisted that led to the suspension of such cooperation
To make such a proposal implies ignoring reality and a dismembering of our province. We don't need empty benches but rather ending the belief that the lack of coordination among the branches of government, can't contribute to the Malvinas question. We represent all South Atlantic Islands and are a two oceans province.
”Instead of such absurdity, from the province of Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands, we call on members of Congress to keep to the national Constitution, particularly the First Transitory Disposition, and learn to respect the laws 23,775 and 26,552 (Tierra del Fuego's territories). We don't need to shield the inexpertness of political rookies from the unshakeable will of the Argentine people”.