From Volume 7, Issue 8 of EIR Online, Published Feb. 19, 2008

Ibero-American News Digest

Kirchner: Infrastructure Requires State Intervention

Feb. 12 (EIRNS)—Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner pointed out, in a speech Feb. 4, that state intervention into the economy is crucial, "so that the social and economic infrastructure that we Argentines need can be built."

Speaking at the inauguration of the improved deep-water port in the city of Necochea, she debunked the arguments of those foreign-trained economists who argue that state investment in infrastructure is "unproductive," and demand that everything be left in the hands of the market. On the contrary, she said, "The state's role is to [accompany] production, the economy, and stand at the side of the workers." Argentines know all too well what happens when a nation's fate is left to the market, she underscored.

President Fernandez de Kirchner also replied to those business and other sectors who argue that the government's plans to build two high-speed rail lines, the first in South America, are unrealistic, given that there are much more fundamental needs that aren't being met in the country. "It's important that we always keep our minds open," she said, "to imagine a different kind of country. If we only look at the things that we lack, or get stuck on the things that still have to be done, [then we won't] do the others that also have to be done, allowing us to take a qualitative leap that will create a different scenario and a generalized attitude of optimism."

Brazilian Offers To Mediate for Israel, Syria

Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorin, during a visit to Israel Feb. 14, offered to mediate between Syria and Israel. According to Ha'aretz, Amorin put Brazil forward as an honest broker: "We don't care about oil; we are interested in mediating only to resolve the conflict between Israel and its neighbors, out of goodwill."

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