London Threatens Argentina: NO FDR-style Infrastructure for You!
May 16 (EIRNS)--In typical fashion, the May 12 edition of the London Economist played up alleged "corruption" charges against Argentine Planning Minister Julio De Vido. One of President Nestor Kirchner's closest confidants, and the driving force behind the government's New Deal-style infrastructure development program, De Vido is under investigation for "irregularities" in the bidding for the contract in the Northeast Gas Pipeline project, intended to carry natural gas from Bolivia to Argentina.
Even while noting that investigators have found no evidence of wrongdoing by De Vido or other government officials, the Economist ominously warns that the Kirchner government's reputation "for honest dealing is facing its first serious test," coyly adding that this occurs only six months before the Oct. 28 Presidential elections in which Kirchner, or possibly his wife Sen. Cristina Fernandez, should she become the candidate, would most certainly win.
Behind the Economist attack is the fact that the London financiers oppose Kirchner's government for modeling its infrastructure program on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in the 1930s. Kirchner bucked the energy privatization policy of the 1990s, the Economist gripes, and even controlled rates. But, it happily adds that "prosecutors are now scrutinizing all public works projects financed by trust funds similar to the one used" for the Northeast pipeline, in which the Planning Ministry was involved. Moreover, it adds, opposition legislators "have asked the courts to investigate three senior officials at the Planning Ministry in connection with the case," and "the courts are taking a close interest in the ministry's spending."