PILOTS’ RAGE REMAINS SKY-HIGH
Pilots continued protesting this week over increased competition, lay-offs and in demand of higher salaries, in a conflict that shows no sign of slowing down. The unions involved said they would keep protesting but would end their controversial intercom messages to travellers that had drawn heavy criticism from government-allied politicians. Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich described the pilot unions as “mafia-like” while the erstwhile alleged “crime boss” union leader Pablo Biró warned the confrontation would ““escalate and end badly.”
‘PINDONGA’ AND ‘CUCHUFLITO’???
Cristina Fer nández de Kirchner’s ability to make headlines was on full display again this week, as ‘Pingdong’ and ‘Cuchuflito’ memes swamped the Internet – and political debate. “We’re seeing brands appear and proliferate, like ‘la Pindonga’ or ‘Cuchuflito,’ which nobody has heard of,” the expresident said. The comments prompted everyone from industry leaders to intellectuals to president Macri to chime in with criticism. So nice to see reasoned, critical debate of the issues ahead of a crucial election. (See Page 6 for more).
FROM ROMA TO LA BOCA
Italian footballer Daniele De Rossi, World Cup champion in 2006, arrived in Buenos Aires this week to join Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors. De Rossi, who played 636 matches with AS Roma, was received at Ezeiza international airport by Boca fans in a chaotic arrival that showed the euphoria that has been aroused by his signing.
ECONOMIC GREEN SHOOTS?
INDEC revealed that economic activity grew 2.6 percent in May after it received a large boost from an especially strong harvest. This marks the first growth the economy has experienced after 12 months of recession. Meanwhile, after a volatile week in the markets, the peso closed at 43.20 per greenback on Friday.
NO LOVE FOR EL LIBERTADOR AT CENTRAL BANK?
The Central Bank announced this week it would remove the five-peso bill – which features General José de San Martín “El Libertador” of Argentina – replacing it entirely with the fivepeso coin already in circulation.
ANAESTHESIOLOGIST LOSES JOB AFTER WHATSAPP PICS
The province of Santiago del Estero lost its only anaesthesiologist this week, after a serious breach of medical ethics on her part. The anaesthesiologist, who remains unidentified, was fired for taking selfies with nude patients on the operating table. She then shared the photos in WhatsApp groups. A neighbour, fed up with the behaviour, tipped off the press. Others in the WhatsApp group stated the anaesthesiologist once shared a video of her talking next to a patient with hearing problems. “It doesn’t bother because she’s deaf and dumb,” the anaesthesiologist said. “She’s never going to realise what I’m doing.”
THIS WEEK IN CORRUPTION...
Lawyers for former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner agreed to move forward with a corruption trial for the “cuadernos,” or notebooks bribery case. Carlos Beraldi, the former president’s lawyer in the case, issued a scathing letter denouncing the case’s merits and the conduct of the presiding federal judge, but nonetheless agreed to oral arguments. “In normal conditions, the possibility that these actions could be elevated to a trial, in judicial terms, would result in absurdity,” Beraldi wrote, vowing the trial would prove his client’s innocence.
VIDAL OR A CONVICTED MURDERER?
Former Kirchernite cabinet chief Aníbal Fernandez delivered perhaps the election’s most bruising insult this week against Buenos Aires Province Governor María Eugenia Vidal. Speaking with the radio program Crónica Anunciada, Fernández said he would entrust his children to quadruple murderer Ricardo Barreda rather than Vidal. Barreda killed his wife, two daughters and mother-in-law with a shotgun in 1992. But Fernandez didn’t stop there. He went on to say Vidal has a “heart more fascist than Mussolini.”
ESCRACHE VIDEO SHOWS ALBERTO E-STRETCHED THE TRUTH
Presidential hopeful Alberto Fernández was forced onto the defensive this week, after a controversial video was published by Perfil on Monday showing him getting out of his seat and shoulder-barging a man to the ground who had insulted him in a restaurant. The incident, which happened last year, showed the man in the video had engaged in an “escrache” protest, a type of direct action which involves harassing public figures. The video calls into question Fernández’ claim from last year that no violent incident had occurred.
A 23-year-old Argentine boxer, Hugo Santillán, died this week, five days after collapsing after a fight. The World Boxing Council says Santillán died from head injuries after the super lightweight bout against Uruguayan Eduardo Abreu on Saturday in San Nicolás.
JAPANESE AMBASSADOR BIDS FAREWELL
Japan’s popular Ambassador to Argentina, Noriteru Fukushima, was awarded the ‘Grand Cross’ Order of the Liberator General San Martín, Argentina’s highest decoration of honour, by Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie on Tuesday for his work to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations. Fukushima, who was also celebrated at an event by British Ambassador Mark Kent on Thursday night, has overseen a turnaround in bilateral relations which has seen Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe meet President Mauricio Macri four times in four years.