Monday, June 17, 2024

ARGENTINA | 03-06-2024 17:09

Adorni says Pettovello has Milei government’s ‘full backing’

“We fully back minister Sandra Pettovello,” declares presidential spokesperson.

Presidential Spokesperson Manuel Adorni said on Monday that Human Capital Minister Sandra Pettovello has the full backing of President Javier Milei and his government.

“We fully back minister Sandra Pettovello,” said Adorni after a weekend of speculation and rumour about the official’s future.

Last week, the government was forced to admit that it had five tonnes of food in storage, despite poverty affecting more than half of the population. After initially denying the products had expiry dates, officials had to concede they were incorrect on that fact.

Following the exit of one of Pettovello’s top officials, Pablo de la Torre, and a subsequent complaint over alleged “irregularities” in the handling of the food, the Human Capital minister has found herself coming under heavy pressure.

“In a few months of administration, she dismantled the putrid [welfare] system inherited from past governments,” said Adorni of Pettovello.

He attempted to turn the focus on the preceding administration in office led by former president Alberto Fernández, accusing officials who previously ran the Social Development Ministry (the forerunner of the Human Capital Ministry) of outright corruption.

“If they were able to do business with feeding the needy, they’re capable of anything,” said Adorni, without providing evidence to back up his claims.

“Let me remind you of some of the achievements of the Human Capital Ministry, many times working jointly with the Security Ministry: over these six months of administration, they put an end to the business of the middleman in social aid, with everything that entailed.” Adorni said.

He denied claims that she is reportedly close to tendering her resignation.

“The public support for the minister was genuine, people still don’t understand that we’re a very close-knit team,” he said.

All officials backing her “are clear that they will act with honesty,” he added.

“To battle corruption every day is a difficult situation, every time we see a corruption incident we feel very angry,” added the spokesperson.

He also revealed that “a woman” will replace De la Torre at the helm of the Childhood Undersecretariat. He was ousted from his post for failing to advise Pettovello that some of the foodstuffs could expire and for alleged “irregularities” in the hiring of staff and consultants.

Though Adorni chose not to name the official, everything seems to suggest that the post would go to Leila Gianni, the portfolio’s current legal undersecretary, who also worked at the Social Development Ministry during Alberto Fernández’s 2015-2019 administration.


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