Friday, December 18, 2015

Argentina: Will new President Macri go after his predecessor?

Argentina just devalued its currency, one of President Mauricio Macri’s first economic moves. Devaluations are often necessary but they do shock the population with higher prices or inflation. I remember living through a devaluation in Mexico in 1982. They have a huge impact on locals, specially the ones who work or live in a dollar economy.
There is also talk in Argentina of opening up investigations against former President Fernandez:
A federal prosecutor is trying to revive a criminal complaint filed by Alberto Nisman, a prosecutor who died in mysterious circumstances earlier this year.
Mr. Nisman had accused Cristina Fern├índez de Kirchner, then the president, of trying to shield former Iranian officials he suspected of planning a 1994 bombing of a Jewish center here in exchange for trade benefits.
It’s a very tough call for President Macri.   
On one hand, it’s always poisonous to investigate your predecessor. Don’t get me wrong. President Fernandez’ administration was corrupt and there are many locals looking for some justice. Again, the political reality is that it emboldens the opposition and makes governing impossible.
On the other hand, someone has to investigate Mr. Nisman’s mysterious assassination and the information about shielding Iranian officials.  How can you have a serious political system when prosecutors are assassinated the day before they are going to make their case to Congress?
My recommendation is that President Macri goes forward with the Nisman investigation, from the standpoint of figuring out who killed him or protected the killers. He can go down this path and stay within the track of a crime investigation.
It won’t be easy, from the economy to his corrupt socialist predecessor, as we wrote a couple of weeks ago.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Political humor with Antonio.F Branco & Leslie Eastman....

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