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ARGENTINA | 17-03-2019 20:28

Macri: my father's dealings with Kirchners amounted to a 'crime'

President Macri gives a wide-ranging interview, discussing Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Roberto Lavanga and his recently deceased father Franco Macri.

Franco Macri's dealings with the former Kirchnerite governments amount to a "crime," President Mauricio Macri declared Sunday in a wide-ranging primetime interview that touched on corruption, influence peddling, the October elections and former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's legal situation.

"My father [Franco Macri] committed a crime, he was part of a system of extortion involving the Kirchnerite movement in which in order to work, you had to pay up," Macri told journalist Luis Majul during a pre-recorded interview for the La Cornisa programme.

Prior to his recent passing, Franco Macri had been tied up in the so-called 'cuadernos' ("notebooks") corruption scandal, along with President Macri's brother and cousin.

With the October general and presidential elections already dominating the news cycle in Argentina, the wide-ranging interview covered a number of contentious topics.

On Florencia Kirchner's legal situation, Macri said the blame was on squarely on her mother, former president and senator for Buenos Aires province Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.

Fernández de Kirchner is currently visiting Florencia in Cuba where the film-mkaker is receiving medical treatment. The former president last week blamed media and judicial "persecution" for Florencia's health problems.

"She [Fernández de Kirchner] did not take care of her children and she involved them in the things she was doing [alleged corruption]. She is responsible for her daughter being indicted... I don't think it's right for a person to deny reality," Macri charged.

Ramos Padilla-Stornelli

The President also touched on the unfolding scandal in Argentina's Judiciary, where a criminal investigation is looking into allegations and evidence of widespread influence peddling among judicial workers, politicians, business people and journalists.

Macri stood by his coalition's decision to pursue disciplinary action in the country's Magistrate's Council against lead judge Alejo Ramos Padilla.

Ramos Padilla is "not a judge who acts with equanimity, he lent himself to a political and media circus [during last week's presentation in Congress]," the preisdent said. "I hope the Council assesses all evidence to determine whether or not he should be dismissed."

One major headache for the government in the lead up to the election will be the rising cost of living.

Macri defended the ongoing roll-back of Kirchner-era subsidies on utilities and public transport.

"Rates have risen, from 1 to 7 because what we were paying was ridiculous. We should not look at the rates. We have seen people who previously had no access to gas, now have access to it", he said.

"Inflation will be less this year than last year," Macri added.

He said he took "responsibility" for the country's underperforming economy.

"I know a lot of people are struggling to make it to the end of the month. I know what started happening in Argentina last March," he clarified.

When it came to growing rumblings of Roberto Lavanga's run for the presidency against Macri, the president warned the former Economy minister under Néstor Kirchner should "be more humble because he was involved in all previous governments and he should make a mea culpa".

He also took aim television personality Marcelo Tinelli, who recently put his weight behind Lavanga, saying Tinelli and Fernández de Kirchner were "one in the same."

"Everyone has the right to an opinion but they should also take responsibility for what they say... The last time I saw him, he didn't say anything to me about this. He told me he was interested in getting into politics with Cambiemos," Macri said.

-TIMES/PERFIL

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