[R-P] (Ing) The Observer (Londres) sueña con Menem pero teme a Rodríguez Saá

Néstor Gorojovsky ngoro en indec.mecon.gov.ar
Lun Nov 25 11:54:15 MST 2002

He aquí lo que piensan en Londres sobre el Dr. Rodríguez Saá  y sobre el Dr.

"Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, presidente por una semana en diciembre de 2001, y
recordado por haber declarado la mayor cesación de pagos internacionales de
la historia, va primero en las encuestas. Ona de sus manos derechas, Aldor
Rico, acaba de declarar a un semanario: 'Claro que tenemos que romper con el

Aunque la idea de trabar las negociaciones de crédito puede se atractiva, la
mayoría está de acuerdo en que cuando los argentinos terminen por votar, es
probable que elijan la seguridad financiera y su reinserción en los mercados
financieros mundiales. Regreso del anterior presidente Carlos Menem."

Me eximo de todo comentario adicional.  Agrego la nota completa, para que
sea muy clarito quién es el periodista y cuáles son sus inclinaciones.
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Sophie Arie in Buenos Aires
Sunday November 24, 2002
The Observer

As Argentine factory workers sweat over grimy machinery making copper pipes
in a southern suburb of Buenos Aires, they are barely aware that their once
rich and now crippled country has just taken another dramatic step towards
financial isolation from the world.

After 11 months of economic implosion since Argentina defaulted on its
mammoth $141 billion (£90bn) debt in December and devalued the peso,
negotiations for rescue by the International Monetary Fund appear to be
unravelling after the crippled country decided to default again, this time
on an $805 million World Bank debt.

The default - Argentina only paid interest on the debt as a 'goodwill
gesture' on 14 October - sinks Argentina into the ranks of debt write-off
countries such as Zimbabwe and Iraq. Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna argued
that the country preferred to default rather than dip into its dwindling
Central Bank reserves.

With confidence inflated by several months of relative currency stability
and controlled inflation, dubbed by the optimists as a 'little economic
summer', Argentine officials say the IMF is making unreasonable demands for
further austerity in a country in its fifth year of recession. On Friday,
Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna announced over half of the 35 billion pesos
(£6.4bn) trapped in the banking system since last December would be released
from Monday. Lavagna also said the government would raise rates for public
services like gas and electricity. Both moves were conditions for further
IMF aid.
'It takes two to tango,' Argentina's finance secretary Guillermo Nielsen
said this week, suggesting that the IMF did not want to reach a deal and
warning that Argentina would not pay debts worth more than $2.5bn looming
between now and February.

But while the deteriorating talks raise fears of further economic turmoil
here, the average Argentine has hardly noticed the jolt. As unemployment
soars above 20 per cent and more than half the population flounders under
the $2-a-day poverty line, many are not holding their breath for the
government or IMF to solve their problems.

'Our leaders keep negotiating for more loans because they just want to be
the next Father Christmas,' said Francisco Vallory, 52. 'But you can't spend
what you don't earn. Argentines have got to start producing things.'

In the gritty Buenos Aires southern suburb of Avellaneda 54 workers took
over their factory when its owners went bankrupt two years ago. Rescue
legislation saved the factory from the auction hammer, allowing the workers
to keep the factory and rent the machinery for a song. By cutting costs and
sacrificing their small salaries for most of a year to keep the factory
going, they have begun to break even, increased their workforce from 54 to
74 workers and are earning up to 1,500 pesos (£265) in a month, well over
the average salary.

Their 'Cooperative of Work and Effort' is one of around 120 associations of
workers who have rescued their jobs over the past four years. Another 20,000
factories face bankruptcy, according to Luis Caro, a lawyer for the workers'
With the peso worth 70 per cent less than its value last year, credit a
thing of the past and cash withdrawals rationed to protect the fragile
banking system, Argentina's middle class has had to slash its living costs
and forego foreign goods.
'Since devaluation, I buy products made in Argentina,' said student Marina
Peluffo. 'Not just because they're cheaper but because it's a way to show
commitment to national industry.'

But with credit still unavailable, machinery rusts in abandoned factories
and business ideas remain on the shelf. Analysts have predicted Argentina's
GDP will shrink by between 11 and 15 per cent this year, but economy
minister Roberto Lavagna this week insisted that production had begun to

'Things have improved in recent months without an agreement, so the
Argentine government thinks it can survive without the Fund,' says Rosendo
Fraga, a Buenos Aires political analyst.

'It's a game of chicken. You don't know who will yield first,' adds Freddy
Thomsen of ING Barings in Buenos Aires.
Public resentment with foreign creditors, seen as partly responsible for the
economic collapse, means politicians cannot be seen to bow to every demand.
Several would-be candidates for April's presidential elections are running a
'no to the IMF' campaign.

Adolfo Rodriguez Saa, President for a week last December and remembered for
declaring the largest sovereign default in history, is now leading in the
polls. One of his righthand men, Aldo Rico, recently told a weekly magazine.
'Of course we must break with the Fund.'

Although the idea of blocking credit negotiations may be appealing, most
agree that when Argentines finally vote, they are likely to opt for
financial security and their reinsertion into world financial markets.
Re-enter former President Carlos Menem.

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