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Néstor Kirchner continues practising "voodoo" economics

By Tony Pagliaro

16.03.06 | More and more the President of Argentina can be described with the old Italian proverb: “E cattivo vento che non é buono per qualcuno”, which means “It´s an ill wind that blows no one any good”. In his extreme populism, Kirchner believes he can cause the markets to behave as he desires. Concerned with the prices of meat, he has already decided to ban -for a six months term- all Argentine meat exports. For the first time ever in Argentina’s history. Commitments, contracts, and exports will all “have to wait”. An unreal world, as perceived by Kirchner causes his unorthodox “decisions”.

Now, a few days after the ban, since the domestic price of meat did not fall, as he expected, he has suggested that the ban will be extended for a full year. In addition, Mr. Kirchner has -yesterday- adamantly requested the people of Argentina to -immediately- stop eating meat until domestic prices do fall. As anyone can imagine, the likelihood of a positive response to this highly unusual request is really very low.

In the meantime, in the Province of Misiones, close to Brasil, a group of people took over the City Hall and the Police Station and burnt both. A few weeks ago something similar had occurred in Las Heras, in Santa Cruz (Kirchner´s own Province).

While these type of wild events are growing, a group of residents of Gualeguaychu (a sleepy and small city located in the west side of the Uruguay river) maintains “de facto” control over all international bridges connecting Argentina with Uruguay. The flow of transit has been stopped by private citizens. For 45 days in a row the transit between both countries has been physically prevented by them. And nobody has ordered that free transit be restored.

The “Gauleguaychúans” are “protesting” because the Uruguayan government has authorized the installation of two pulp and paper mills on the east side of the river. Protesters originally claimed that such factories will probably contaminate the water of the river. Now they say they don´t want to “see” across the river anything but nature. No factories, therefore. “Visual pollution” seems to be the new argument on which they base the cutting of the roads and bridges to “force” a sovereign country to behave as they want and preserve the alleged beauty of a “status quo” they want to keep. For Uruguay these investments will generate much needed jobs and exports. “Gualegauychúans” really do not care. The “picture” they, from their beaches, have of the opposite side of the river on which they swim cannot be altered, at all.

A country (Argentina) seems to be already completely “out of control”. Mr. Kirchner cannot contain the people from behaving as they really want any longer. This is what happens when the Executive Power decides that it will not enforce the law and instructs its attorneys not to prosecute anyone because (according to Kirchner) crime is not caused by criminals but generated by a society that cannot eliminate poverty. Lawlessness is the unavoidable answer.

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