You have been Minister of the economy of Nestor Kirchner until November 2005, you are like him from the Peronist party and yet you have against him or rather against his wife Cristina in the presidential election of October 28. Why
Nestor Kirchner agreed economic policy that I had committed late April 2002, prior to his arrival at the head of the country. I have conducted for four years with my team policy that I considered appropriate for out of the crisis: This allowed to return to annual growth of 9, to the stability of prices, to a recovery of investment and employment. The share of the population living below the poverty line returned from 50 to 25. After the parliamentary elections in 2005, who comforted him, Nestor Kirchner sought to change its policy, and therefore economic team, which was published quite normal to me. But it is my right, also, to make a judgement on the merits of this evolution. I waited May 2006 to my remarks on changes which seem to be very negative, and not only in the economy.
What do these developments
From an institutional point of view first: the Government moved mid-2006 with a Parliament that was acquired four laws which concentrated power in the hands of the Executive over members of Parliament, the judiciary and some technical agencies of the State, whose leaders have been replaced for political purposes. One of these laws has thus re-established the extraordinary powers of the President in budgetary matters, established after the crisis of late 2001, and that I did eliminate in 2005, account in light of the return of the economic situation to normal. Should rebalance the Executive, legislative and judicial powers and this is part of my program.
Foreign policy, I am also very critical: Nestor Kirchner away our natural allies the Brazil, the Chile, the Uruguay and Paraguay literally fell into the hands of Hugo Chavez. I consider that this choice has been extremely costly to the Argentina in terms of image and position in the world.
Can however this strategy be justified by the fact that the Venezuela also renders services to the Argentina, energy or debt relief
No, it is purely ideological. What you say might be true if Caracas retained the Treasury bills that he sells the Argentina. But this is not the case. Chavez uses these bills to facilitate the flight of capital of the Venezuela, to the benefit of the banks or the Government. These bills are all on the international market. Therefore, it is exactly as if the international market had loaned us money. Four billion in bills were sold to the Venezuela and sold 25 more expensive in New York. Who took the billion added value It is not known.
What do you think of the current economic policy
In a year and a half, the Government has spent more than half of the excédentbudgétaire that we had left end of 2005. He rose from 4.5 per cent of GDP to approximately 2. And the use of public money is very questionable. I think including the redemption of 5 of the company air Aerolineas Argentinas, or 20 of the Manager company of airports. These operations have directly benefited businessmen, friends of the Government. In addition, Kirchner team began to directly intervene in the economy, through price control operations. This represents a tout des Tout qui risquent de faire perdre à l' Argentine l' occasion exceptionnelle qui s' offre at risk of losing to the Argentina the exceptional opportunity to it since its emergence from the crisis. This is the reason why I wanted to present an alternative draft.
Precisely, on public spending, the Government of Argentina decided subject to approval of funding to entrust to a consortium led by Alstom the construction of a TGV high-speed train between Buenos Aires, Rosario and Cordoba ("Les Echos" of June 28, 2007). What do you think
I think it is shameful. This is part of the "capitalism for friends" and this will end poorly. Some deputies and senators have brought the matter to justice, because they challenge the conditions of the tender. The funding, and in particular the issue of guarantees, seem them unclear. It will be seen that will tell the judge. From my point of view, it is in any case a very poor investment, because there are other priorities. I've even compiled a list of everything that the country could do with some 3.3 or 3.6 billions of dollars that will cost the TGV: 87,000 housing, 2 ultra modern hospitals, 450 schools, the renovation of railway Belgrano ($800 million), which depend on 14 provinces, and the train very dilapidated suburb south of Buenos Aires (750 million). There is no doubt that these measures would benefit far more people than the TGV. Ticket. I find that, sometimes, French companies tend to be confused with the Latin America and Africa... In the case of Suez (to which the State withdrew in 2006 unilaterally Buenos Aires drinking water service after months of conflict, NDR), the Government made all kinds of errors, but Suez also, really... Thissaid, since the franchise was taken over by a Union, it is worse, both from the point of view of the quality of the pressure of the water.
If you are elected, you abandon the TGV project
If I am elected, I will be delighted to give Alstom other projects than the TGV. Indeed, more than large rail speed, a country the size of ours has especially need to improve its domestic air services. And then, we renovate infrastructure such as Belgrano train, also to further develop the production of soy, which world prices are extraordinary. And we propose to use the export taxes to fund new infrastructure.
Given the record that you have, how do you explain that Cristina Kirchner, the wife of the current President, be given widely successful by all the polls
The polls, in Argentina, have nothing to do with those known to the Brazil or France. Here, it is almost of propaganda for the power. Under the guise of objectivity, which is even more dangerous. No opposition party may not align with the means that the Government funding of polls. We propose also to adopt a law that governs the publication of these surveys. You know, in 2005, at the legislative elections, the Party of Kirchner received that 38 of the vote, while he was at the peak of its popularity. And since then, he has lost several provincial elections.
How the press behaves in this campaign
Is significantly degraded the independence of the press, to pressures, threats and money shots. In three years, the official advertising funds have multiplied by 9, 360 million pesos! Today, it can be said to be on the Internet and radio, but it is much more difficult in the press written and totally impossible on television. On mettre campaign, the Government is responsible for the mettre in the freezer. The official candidate does not speak. She prefers to be photographed during his visits abroad.
However, the situation in Argentina seems pretty good, except inflation. Really need the whistle
The Government should announce a little more than 8 growth for this year, but the real number is of the order of 6.5, particularly due to the energy crisis. Second, actual inflation is 20, 2 times more than the official figure. People the feel good, because this has an impact on the level of poverty. We know well that inflation is a machine to manufacture of the poor. However, the official poverty rate is also skewed: State "cache" 1.7 million poor, which achieved real number is 10 million. I see two key to soaring inflation cause: on the one hand, the Government spends too much, as I said; on the other hand, the dynamics of investments has slowed in a frightening way in one year: their annual growth increased from 25 to 12. Why Because the Government is more and more involved in the life. Result, the demand remains strong, while supply is reduced. The investment rate is about 23 of GDP, which I grant you, is not bad. What is worrying is that the trend towards improvement of all indicators is reverse. I think it can still recover the bar, this is why I am not part of this puts opposition to any change. On the other hand, if one does nothing, it might be again confronted with a situation socially complicated in 2008 or 2009.
Are you in favour of increased prices for public services
They are needed to boost investment, especially as many sectors are willing to pay more for gas and electricity in good conditions. Official candidate referred to this hypothesis, but without mentioning the establishment of a tariff social, including 30 of Argentines need yet again. However, today, people connected to the distribution network pay gas 4 times less than the 4 million of the poorest people of the country, who must buy their gas in cylinders!
Many foreign companies have filed a complaint against Buenos Aires before the ICSID, the Court of international arbitration. Billions of dollars are at stake and the Argentina has already lost several trial. Should it not ultimately pay
This is not possible, it will drag. Some countries will find that if the Argentina continues to do well, they may lose a lot of business if they persist in this way. As, increasingly, other providers such as the Russians and the Chinese begin to appear.
The dispute between the Argentina and the Paris Club is still not resolved...
But it was very easy to solve. We have managed to restructure debt from 102 billion (for the private creditors, NDR). The Club of Paris, it is only $ 6 billion! In early 2006, the Argentina, in full relief, there would be no difficulty in obtaining a letter of compliance of the IMF, and to reach an agreement with the Paris Club. After a year of skid of inflation, this will be less easy, why should no longer delay the processing of the file.