Argentina: Cristina Against Everybody Else?
Having asked Central Bank director Martin Redrado to resign (which he didn't do, and then he appealed to the courts and congress), Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner is now picking a fight with vice-president and head of the Senate Julio Cobos
On Tuesday, the president said she has postponed a trip to China - one of her most important overseas visits this year - because she cannot trust the vice president to run the country while she's away.She asked that a committee debate Redrado's decree, and that Cobos resign,
Cobos, who as head of the Senate cast a deciding vote against a Fernandez plan to change farm taxes in 2008, has said Congress should debate the decrees.The Globe and Mail reports that it's all about the debt:
The former governor was picked by Fernandez from the opposition Radical Civic Union party in 2007 and has said he plans to run for president in 2011.
“He has the right to be a member of the opposition, to disagree with the policies of the executive branch, but not from the post of the vice president,” Fernandez said.
Argentine debt tiff shines light on rebel VP
The turmoil at the central bank has heightened political tensions in Latin America's No. 3 economy and raised doubts about the cash-strapped government's plan to launch a $20 billion debt swap in the coming weeks.While asking to use $6 billion of foreign reserves to cover debt payments, Fernandez insists that this dispute with the Central Bank will have no effect on the upcoming swap of $20 billion in defaulted bonds.
Ms. Fernandez hopes the swap of defaulted bonds will allow Argentina to return to international credit markets eight years after a massive default.
Mr. Cobos, a 54-year-old civil engineer from the wine-making region of Mendoza, is under pressure to resign as vice president from some opposition leaders, who question him for remaining in the government.
The dispute over the reserves plan is testing Ms. Fernandez just as politicians in the divided ruling Peronist party and the opposition jostle for position ahead of next year's election.