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ARGENTINA | 22-09-2019 08:34

Fernández de Kirchner slams Macri, debt level before crowd in La Matanza

Former president attacks Macri administration and decries Argentina's level of debt, at event promoting her memoirin Buenos Aires Province.

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner drew a large crowd to La Matazna this weekend, as she addressed thousands of enthusiastic supporters ahead of next month's election.

The Frente de Todos vice-presidential candidate was seeking to retain her ticket's momentum ahead of the crucial October 27 election. The senator for Buenos Aires Province, who led Argentina as head of state between 2007 and 2015, is the vice-presidential candidate on the Frente de Todos slate headed by Alberto Fernández, her former Cabinet chief.

Fernández de Kirchner, who was promoting her bestselling memoir Sinceramente, spoke in La Matanza, a Peronist stronghold in Buenos Aires Province. She has consistently drawn large crowds on stops of her book tour, which she has preferred to traditional campaign events. To date, she has appeared alongside her running-mate in public only a handful of times.

She was joined Saturday by local mayor Verónica Magario and Frente de Todos gubernatorial candidate for Buenos Aires Province, Axel Kicillof, who formerly served as the former president's economy minister during her second term as head of state.

Attack

Holding nothing back, Fernández de Kirchner held court before the crowd, criticising deteriorating economic conditions in Argentina under President Mauricio Macri, who is struggling for support ahead of the election.

Above all, Fernández de Kirchner told the crowd, Argentina must stop taking on debt.

"This government has to put an end to the indebtedness," said the former Peronist president, describing Argentina's immediate future as "difficult and complex."

"Since 1820 [the first national presidency] Argentina gets in debt, then declares a default, becomes indebted, returns to debt and then another default. We must discuss this, so that it never happens again," she said, describing the country's levels of "indebtedness and hunger" as "intolerable."

"The things they [the Macri administration] said were not true. It was not true that inflation stemmed from the emission of money, it was not true that with very high tariffs large investments would come."

She also criticised the government's US$57-billion credit-line with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying it was unfair to ask "44 million Argentines to pay."

"There is a very strong temptation to give and give [Macri suppport], but let no-one fool themselves into believing," she added, saying Argentina was today suffering the "consequences" of his administration.

"They came proposing zero poverty and leave with sanctions of food emergency laws," she said, witheringly.

Alberto

Fernández de Kirchner described Alberto Fernández, her running-mate, as "a person of much dialogue," who sought "to reconcile" the country and its politicians.

"We are going to start a different political stage," she declared to cheers.

Fernández de Kirchner's public appearance came just a day after federal Judge Claudio Bonadio ordered her to stand trial in the so-called 'Cuadernos' ("notebooks") corruption case, stemming from her time as president. No date for the trial has yet been set. Fernández de Kirchner, who faces more than 10 criminal investigations against her in the courts, denies wrongdoing.

The visit also comes in the wake of the former president's return to Buenos Aires from Cuba, where she had been visiing her daughter, Florencia Kirchner, who has been receiving medical treatment on the Communist-run island.

Some investors are concerned a 'Fernández-Fernândez' victory could revive an era of heavy state intervention in the economy.

– TIMES/AFP/AP

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