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Inicio arrow Análisis arrow Argentine Political Outlook (Feb-17-21)

Argentine Political Outlook (Feb-17-21) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Feb-10-21, by Rosendo Fraga
 
 

1.     The Judiciary conflict escalates as the central conflict in the institutional field for theFernández-Fernández administration: Two rulings have had a negative impact on the ruling party: the cassation court that passed the so-called "macrist espionage" case from the Lomas de Zamora court on to the federal justice of ComodoroPy, and the supreme court confirming one of MilagroSala's convictions.This is perceived not only as negative but also as a threat by Cristina Kirchner, who in the next few days is facing the so-called "public works" case in the province of Santa Cruz. In this case, President Alberto Fernández and her Justice Minister Marcela Losardo - highly questioned by Kirchnerism - agreed with the Vice President, questioning the two rulings. Kirchnerism once again insisted with its bills to control justice: increased number of court members, creation of an intermediate court to review the rulings of the highest court and take control of the Council of the Magistracy. This last objective has already been achieved. In the next few days, Diego Molea, close to LaCámpora, assumes the presidency of the council. Justice is an area where the President and his team had sought a more moderate image, now they seem to have fully assumed the thesis of the "Lawfare of Kirchnerism" which holds that the corruption cases are an instrument of political persecution. The reaction of the "ultra-Kirchnerist" sectors has been clear: MilagroSala requested her pardon from the President, for herself and all of her colleagues who were prosecuted and detained. 

2.     Meanwhile, the Fernández-Fernández duo agree on unifying the Justicialist party. On March 21, the new Peronist authorities are elected, whose outgoing president is the former national congress man José Luis Gioja. The President of the nation will be elected president of the party by virtue of an agreement that includes the Vice President, the Speaker of the Lower House, Sergio Massa, the president of the Lower House bloc, Máximo Kirchner and the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof. Negotiations are being held with the governors and the CGT so that they have satisfactory representation in the new national council of the party. This week, efforts are being made for an opposition slate led by the governor of San Luis, Alberto Rodríguez Saá, to withdraw his bid. It is made up of, among others, MilagroSala and the wife of former Planning Minister Julio de Vido. Thisslate that partly represents the "ultra-Kirchnerism" has no chance of winning, not even of having a minority representation. But the national ruling party seeks not to present the idea of ​​transforming the consensus of the new construction, in unanimity. ButGreater Buenos Aires continues to politically challenge the national government. In December, they announced that Máximo Kirchner would take over as president of the Buenos Aires PJ in March, when Alberto Fernández assumed as president of the national PJ. The term of the provincial authorities expires in December. In order for Máximo to assume the presidency in March, the party must be declared "headless", which implies the resignation of two thirds of the party authorities and the PJ congress. The current party president in Buenos Aires is Esteban Echeverría district Mayor Fernando Gray, who refuses to resign. No councilor has resigned as required by Kirchnerism, it is the first political brake faced by LaCámpora. The national ruling party tries not to assume the political entity of the event. 

3. The executive has launched a price and salary agreement that is not easy to finalize. The President began by stating that if it was not achieved, it would be directly a price control. The union confederationswere called first: The CGT, an expression that represents traditional union Peronism, the sector led by Hugo Moyano and the militant unions of the CTA. They argued that the joint associations should not have a ceiling, but they supported the government's proposal for an agreement. Then it was the turn of the industrial business community, who was skeptical and doubted that the premise that annual inflation was only 29% could be maintained. The entities of the farming sector were skeptical after their meeting, but optimistic that they were not threatened with more withholdings. With these three interlocutors there was no agreement, but no rejection. Meanwhile, 20,000 picketers in the city of Buenos Aires from sectors allied to the ruling party (CCC, MovimientoEvita and Barrios de pie) were deployed in a thousand hypermarkets, checking whether the maximum prices that had previously been agreed for basic food basket were being met or not. Their complaints will be submitted to the secretariat of commerce, and AFIP inspectors joined the inspections. The social economic council that the government will create in the next few days, chaired by Gustavo Béliz, is not linked to these negotiations, but will have a long-term objective. 

4. In Argentina, deaths and infections due to the pandemic decrease while vaccination is delayed, and in foreign policy the Falklands and the South Atlantic are once again a subject of tension. Argentina is in the thirteenth place of countries with the highest number of deaths from coronavirus, it is 12thin terms of most cases of infected and is in the 16thplace of countries with the highest percentage of vaccinated per number of inhabitants with 0.82%. For this last figure, a potential second dose requiredis not taken into account. The reduction of Covid 19 is a global phenomenon. The WHO has reported that throughout January it has been reduced by half, but the delay in vaccination is a local phenomenon compared to other countries in the region such as Chile. The government is aware that this delay can have negative consequences in the election year; it tries to acquire vaccines from anywhere. In foreign policy, the presence of a US nuclear submarine in the South Atlantic and its exercises with a British plane from the Falkland Islands garrison generated a strong rejection in the Argentine Foreign Ministry, which under Foreign Minister Felipe Solá denounced it for violating UN agreements. The governor of Tierra del Fuego, Gustavo Melella, went further by saying that if the submarine entered Argentine waters it would constitute a really serious crisis. Only Defense Minister Agustín Rossi toned down the tension by stating that the submarine had not sailed in Argentine waters and that although it is nuclear powered, it did not imply that it would carry nuclear cargo. British private media argue that Argentina is agitating the conflict in the South Atlantic for electoral convenience. But the central point of Argentina's foreign policy is that on March 5 the President will visit China. April would be the key moment in negotiations with the international monetary fund, in which the US vote is decisive.

 

5. To conclude: 

a. Kirchnerismis exacerbated by adverse judicial rulings and seeks to accelerate actions to control justice. 

b. The national ruling party is managing to align almost all of Peronism so that Alberto Fernández is elected the new party president, but in Greater Buenos Aires the mayors resist. 

c. The Executive's talks with unions, industrialists and the farming sector for the price and wage agreement have begun, but its realization does not seem easy. 

d. The delay in vaccination is a central problem to be solved for the government and the tension in the South Atlantic is a relevant problem in foreign policy that is related to the US-China struggle in the region.

 
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