Amid Deepening Crisis, Argentines Widely Anticipate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s New Book
May 8, 2019 (EIRNS)—As just-released quarterly figures show a stunning and continuing destruction of the Argentine economy and living standards, courtesy of the International Monetary Fund and President Mauricio Macri, there is widespread anticipation of former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s May 9 presentation of her book Sincerely, a review of the three Kirchner presidencies—two of herself and one of her late husband Nestor Kirchner—and what they achieved.
The presentation will take place at the Argentine Book Fair, held at an historic site once owned by the landed oligarchy’s Rural Society. She will speak in a room that holds 1,000, but an estimated 4,000 are expected. Requesting that her usually noisy, drum-banging militants not attend, so as not to distract from the seriousness of the occasion, she has arranged for a large video screen to be set up near the locale for supporters to watch.
While it’s unknown whether Fernández will run in this year’s presidential election, there is an urgent need and demand for a change in policy. The latest quarterly figures from the government’s statistical agency show a year-on-year industrial decline of 11.1%; for March alone, industrial production dropped by 13.4%, with auto production plummeting 29.7% for the first quarter, and 39.1% just for March. The construction industry dropped by 11.3% for the first quarter, and 12.3% for March alone. According to economist Julia Strada, industry is operating at 58.4% of its installed capacity.
According to a vice president of the Argentine Industrial Union, the decline in industrial production has yet to reach bottom. Moreover, the government has not been able to stop the peso devaluation—yesterday it reached an unprecedented 46 to the dollar, while the inflation rate for April was 4.6%, a tad below March’s record 4.7%. Despite Macri’s claim to be controlling food prices, they continue to rise, placing food out of the reach of the poorest and further shrinking the internal market.