Fact Check: Argentina

958 days, 18 hours, 29 minutes ago


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Argentina’s Bizarre Attack On Germany

Not to be outdone by Cristina Kirchner’s ignominious performance at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, her top advisors went on the warpath the following day – against Germany.

Hector Timerman, Argentina’s colorful Foreign Minister – yes, the same individual who recently threatened the U.S. charge de affaires Kevin Sullivan for merely suggesting that Argentina should do something about its default – led the attacks on the German government, accusing Angela Merkel of making decisions that “are generally against the people’s interests.”  Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich, never one to miss an opportunity for incendiary pronouncements, denounced a “hostile attitude from Germany” and “favoritism” by Germany toward the “vulture funds.”

Argentina’s leadership has become altogether unhinged, so nobody should be surprised by these new outbursts from Timerman and Capitanich, but we should point out that we suspect this latest salvo toward Germany and its leaders was really the result of an advertisement that ATFA ran last week.  Here’s a link to the ad in case you missed it.

It’s ridiculous that Argentina would blame Germany for ATFA’s decision to run an advertisement extolling the courage of Finance Minister Schäuble for pointing out that Argentina is a “model of unsoundness,” and that “Argentina caused its problems.”

At ATFA, we’ve been saying the same thing ever since Argentina’s Economy Minister Axel Kicillof and its President Cristina Kirchner decided to plunge the country into default this summer.  But, like a spoiled child who can’t be told no, Argentina’s government doesn’t like when reality is pointed out to them, and they have reacted to Finance Minister Schäuble the same way they have reacted to ATFA, to Kevin Sullivan, to the United States Government, to Judge Griesa – the list goes on.  It’s gotten so bad in Argentina that the country’s leaders will do anything to take the focus off of the economy, and they’ll blame anybody they can for their own decision to create this mess by defaulting.

For the record, ATFA did not coordinate with Finance Minister Schäuble or anybody else in in the German government in deciding to run our advertisement.  But you’d better believe that we’re big admirers of Schäuble for his courageous fiscal discipline in an era of increasing sovereign profligacy.  Ironically, Schäuble’s fiscal character could not be a greater contrast with Argentina’s own Economy Minister Axel Kicillof, whose economics model has driven Argentina to ruin. In an interview earlier this summer with the Financial Times, Schäuble had this to say in response to the false choice of growth vs. fiscal discipline:

 “We [in Germany] are proof that a repayment of excessive debt and sustainable growth are not opposites, but reciprocal conditions.  We have better growth figures than most of our partners in the euro zone and our key financial figures are solid.”

 We’ll say again what we said in our ad about Minister Schäuble – wise words from somebody who still values the rule of law that has always underpinned our global financial system.

The world needs more Wolfgang Schäubles, and Argentina’s leaders should take note of what real leadership looks like.