December 5, 2022

East Valley Times

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Interview with Alberto Fernandez: “There are late salaries, we will try to help them” | Bonuses for workers, internal government and war in Europe

As the sun set over Paris and the autumn afternoon began to turn chilly, the President Alberto Fernandez He took a half-hour break from his tour to visit the Argentine embassy in the city — a well-preserved Belle Epoque-style building — to speak with accredited journalists accompanying him on his trip. His stay in France didn’t just take over, where he participated in a peace forum and shared six engagements with French President Emmanuel Macron — most of them focused on finding ways to end the war between Russia and Ukraine. But Argentina needed a few minutes to talk about the hottest topics on the agenda.

Fernandez confirmed Government will provide year-end bonus to registered workersIt tried again to shut it down without mentioning the universe or scale it reached Discussion of STEP Within a week of the Vice President’s speech, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, for the day of war. Both these issues are disputes within the ruling party.

After a three-day stay in the City of Lights — which this time had to change its name because, due to power shortages caused by the war, everything went dark at twelve o’clock at night — the president would travel about 20 hours by plane to the Indonesian island of Bali, where he will attend the G20 leaders’ summit. There he will again meet Macron and the G7 leaders; The President of the United States will hold a meeting with Joe Biden and other presidents for a global infrastructure plan; One with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and the other with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva.

– Why did the government choose a bonus for workers and not the fixed amount demanded by other sectors of the ruling party?

– Because in Argentina the baritarias are fully employed and intervened in a fixed amount for low wages which will create many problems. Most of these salaries are in municipalities and small businesses, and risk creating a financial crisis for them. Small businesses can solve that by moving their employees into the informal sector. What we need to restore is the wages of all, including the lowest income earners, and we believe that the equalization system is adequate. In an emergency, we will try to help them by understanding that there are still deferred salaries as we approach the end of the year.

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– When will it be?

– We’ll see about it when we get to Buenos Aires.

– It was a year since his proposed Veterans Day Act to settle a major domestic nomination. Do you still think the same? Are you optimistic about your re-election chances?

– I thought we were going to avoid these things in Paris, but I see that even Paris does not avoid these things. I believe what I said on November 17th. Christina (Kirchner) said the idea of ​​creating PASOs was a great idea to open up political parties and prevent them from becoming closed spaces for leaders. I respect it very much and have always defended it. The rest is guesswork. One more year. My concern is that those who brought Argentina to its knees before the world, impoverished vast sectors of society and left the country in debt for generations, will never win again. I will do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.

-Regarding the war in Ukraine and your talks with Macron: Do you plan to bring a concrete proposal to the G20? Are you planning to go somewhere in the world and meet with both sides to see if an agreement can be reached?

– It should not be a proposal for an individual country, but a broader one. The debate needs to leave the northern hemisphere and go around the world. FAO predicts a famine that will reach 300 million people and most of them are from the southern hemisphere. We need to get out of the wartime logic of two fights and seek a global solution. All parties must pledge not to use nuclear weapons and not to bomb power plants. Thank God we understand each other better with Macron and I hope we can take some steps in that direction at the G20.

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Will you meet with Kristalina Georgieva in Bali to discuss the surcharge and possible reduction? Is the IMF going to create an emergency fund, just like the pandemic?

– In my last phone conversation Ella I put those two things to him. I pointed out how the effects of the war affected not only Europe but the whole world. I also raised with him the necessity of reconsidering once and for all the very unjust methods affecting the most indebted countries, and the surcharges which, in Argentina, are the result of a totally irresponsible debt. I asked Macron the same thing again. I asked France to come with us on this plan and reminded him that the extra fee is being paid by Ukraine. This is a good moment, so as Georgieva has said publicly more than once, the Fund’s plans are being reviewed based on what happened in the war.

-Cecilia Todesca is the Argentine candidate for the presidency of the IDB. What is the goal of the government? How is the negotiation coming along on a regional basis?

-We were very critical of the US approach when it appointed Mauricio Claver Coron as the head of the IDP. It broke a tradition because since its creation, the presidency had been in the hands of Latin American countries. I always wanted to see the decision of the US government come through to rescind that proposal and hold another election, but that never happened. The president who proposed America left for other reasons. The IDB was created in 1959 and Argentina is one of the main partners, second only to the United States. However, we never chaired the IDB. We have the required qualifications, it is important that the candidate is a woman. We are talking to regional leaders because it is not about imposing a candidate but coming to a consensus.

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You, Macron and Colombian President Gustavo Pedro met with negotiators from Venezuela to talk about ending sanctions and sanctions. America has an important role there. Was there contact with the White House, was there contact with the State Department or the Secretary of the Treasury?

– The Security Council of the United States knows very well my position on this matter and what my position is on this matter. Yesterday we were able to put the people we were supposed to discuss, Venezuela, back at the table. It seems to me that if the Venezuelan people come to an agreement, both sides will understand, one party is more clear than the other, that the sanctions are not primarily affecting the Venezuelan government, but rather the Venezuelan people. Economic sanctions are not only from the US. For example, on Friday, the European Union extended economic sanctions on Venezuela. We all need to revisit this issue and ask the Venezuelan parties to return the resources that have been taken to Venezuela.

-In the last conversation you had with Jake Sullivan, Biden’s top security adviser, did they discuss this matter and do they want to move forward?

– No, the last conversation I had with Sullivan was not about Venezuela. In any case, I understand that this is a complex issue for the United States, and we must respect their time. I believe that the United States, like us, has a mission to restore democratic coexistence and full institutionalization in Venezuela.