President Alberto Fernández has voiced his opinion about the scandal featuring former Chief of Cabinet for Buenos Aires Province Martín Insaurralde, saying the affair offends "decent people."
“Such an attitude affects and hurts many decent people who don’t think of yachts on the Mediterranean, who lead an austere life,” said the president.
“We [the ruling coalition] don’t deserve to be criticised for it, but I think the reaction to it was good,” he highlighted in a radio interview, praising the response of Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof, who accepted Insaurralde’s resignation and moved to eliminate the position, and Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
The Peronist leader specifically defended Kicillof, describing him as "an honest man, who leads an austere life,”
As for the Insaurralde case and the scandalous images of his luxurious trip with Sofía Clerici, which caused a great political commotion, Fernández said the the former official “will have to explain his actions to the public.”
He stepped short of saying a crime had been committed and sought to defend the ruling Unión por la Patria coalition and Massa, its presidential candidate.
Massa immediately distanced himself from the fallout and called for Insaurralde's resignation.
“I don’t believe we politicians are a caste. Politics are full of people who want to serve and help their fellow man. We might do it better or worse, but it’s our calling. The caste defends the great owners of Argentina, large fortunes, but they’re conducts which hurts politics,” said Fernández.
For his part, Massa said Insaurralde had committed a “very serious mistake.”
“The timing of the news is striking, but at any rate it’s a result of Martín’s mistake,” he acknowledged in a television interview.
“I believe this girl [Clerici] already had a previous political case, with a candidate, I don’t remember who it was," said the minister.
Even though he avoided mentioning him by name, Massa was clearly referred to a 2017 scandal involving then-Buenos Aires Province governor and current Ambassador to Brazil, Daniel Scioli.
At the time, the model was romantically linked to the ex-governor, who was in a relationship with Gisela Berger at the time.
Quizzed as to potential impact of the scandal on voters, Massa said that the "timing of the posting is odd.”
Insaurralde has not only resigned from his position as provincial Cabinet chief, he also stepped down his candidacy to be a councillor for Lomas de Zamora.