Speaking Aug. 2 at the Buenos Aires Board of Trade, celebrating the 158th anniversary of its founding, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez once more slammed European governments for killing their citizens through brutal austerity, recalling her late husband Nestor Kirchner's 2003 warning to the UN General Assembly that "the dead can't pay their debts." He explained there why the imposition of austerity would never bring about a recovery in devastated Argentina, and stated he wouldn't place bankers' interests before those of his own citizens.
"I have the feeling that Europe doesn't understand this," Fernandez said. Look at Spain. "How can you have growth if people lose their jobs, their wages are cut, their houses are or auctioned off, and their benefits are taken away?" She reported she'd read that 10% of Spain's public sector jobs were being cut along with 50,000 public hospital beds. "You can't sustain an economy or a society under these conditions," she warned.
In Europe today, "what you have is an incredible speculative crisis... something we know very well." Argentina was "strangled" by foreign debt, she said, debunking the idea that there has been an "excessive amount of public spending" in Europe. What there has been, she said, is a bailout of the banks, such as Spain's Bankia run by former IMF director Rodrigo Rato, "who used to lecture us" on economic policy, yet his bank had to be bailed out to the tune of 230 bn. euros. "There has been an incredible bailout of the banks, so they can pull out of their difficult positions" in the Southern European nations, yet these "are the same banks that lent" to those countries!
This, she said, is exactly "like Argentina in 2001" when foreign financial predators imposed "mega-swaps" and bailouts with usurious conditions, and promised this would protect the country with protective "armor" against crisis. Right up to the moment the nation imploded, financiers proclaimed that the economy was really "solid." It was a fraud, Cristina said, and Argentines were the victims.
The President spoke one day before her government paid $2.3 bn. to holders of the Boden-2012 bonds, for funds frozen in the "corralito" (little corral) imposed in 2001 by lunatic finance Minister Domingo Cavallo. She used the occasion to document how foreign debt, beginning with the infamous Baring Brothers' loan of 1811, was used to loot the country, providing details on the "bankers' arithmetic" by which Argentina kept paying and paying, but always owed more, while the bankers' made a killing.