Speaking in Mendoza province Sept. 26, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner scathingly attacked the insanity of the IMF's austerity policies, now being forced on Europe, as well as the arrogance of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who announced last week that the Fund would not use data from INDEC, Argentina's official statistical agency, to assess the country's GDP and inflation rate, because the data was too "unreliable." Instead, Lagarde said, the Fund would get better data from "private consultants."
Not only did the IMF cause Argentina's 2001 crisis and default, Fernandez charged. Today, "in the midst of the most calamitous failure in recent memory...those directly responsible for Argentina's 2001 failure, and today's in Europe and the United States, are still trying to force the world to swallow the same medicine they gave us for a decade in order to ruin us! Such idiocy, such stubborness is inconceivable. How can they say that an economy will be reactivated and grow through austerity? This makes no sense!"
So the IMF is going to determine what's "reliable" in Argentina? Let it be known, Fernandez said, that our "economic policy decisions are made here in the Casa Rosada [Presidential Palace] and in the national Congress, here within our national institutions"—not in private consultancies or dictated by foreign financial agencies. In the 1980s and 1990s, the President recalled, Argentina's Congress bent over backwards to implement foreign dictates, "and the world still came crashing down; Argentina still came crashing down on us. So, with some mistakes, with some successes, we've learned that we, the Argentines, will determine our present, and above all, our and our children's future."
Fernandez was in Mendoza to inaugurate the expansion of the electricity grid, and in doing so, recalled that her late husband President Nestor Kirchner loved building infrastructure "because he maintained that this was progress." When you bring energy and electricity to regions that didn't have it, "you bring equality, sovereignty and federalism to places that had been ignored historically," the President emphasized. She recalled Nestor's first speech to the UN General Assembly in which he said that Argentina must be allowed to grow, because he didn't know of any dead people who could pay their debts. That, Fernandez said, "was a visionary metaphor for what's happening in the world today."
The Argentine President underscored that everything she and her husband have done has been aimed at "liberating" the Argentine people, but more particularly youth, leaving them "a better country...liberating them from misery, from failure, from frustration and from poverty....We are rebuilding that Argentina which had been wrenched from us and which we have recovered, not for ourselves, but for our young people, for our children and grandchildren, so they don't have to live through what we have had to live through."