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Cablegate: Media Reaction; Wall Street On Argentina; Bolivia; Barack

VZCZCXYZ0002
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #0661/01 1372129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 162129Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1066
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL//SCJ2//
RULGPUA/USCOMSOLANT

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 000661

STATE FOR INR/R/MR, I/GWHA, WHA, WHA/PDA, WHA/BSC,
WHA/EPSC
CDR USSOCOM FOR J-2 IAD/LAMA

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KPAO OPRC KMDR PREL
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION; WALL STREET ON ARGENTINA; BOLIVIA; BARACK
OBAMA; 05/16/08


1. SUMMARY STATEMENT

Today's leading international stories are related to Wall Street
forecasts for Argentina's growth rate; latest developments in
Bolivia; and Barack Obama's rebuff to US President Bush.

2. OPINION PIECES AND EDITORIALS

- "Wall Street forecasts a sudden brake on Argentine economy"

Daily-of-record "La Nacion" front-pages an opinion piece by its
Washington-based correspondent, Hugo Alconada Mon, who writes
(05/16) "Wall Street investment analysts have said something the
Kirchners would never have wanted to know - that the Argentine
economic growth rate has begun to decelerate. Furthermore, some
reports point out the risk of a 'forced landing' in 2009.

"According to two reports by the JP Morgan Bank research department,
the country's growth rate is going down and next year it will only
be 3% vis-`-vis 8.5% in 2007.

"Lehman Brothers forecasts a similar percentage (3.7%) and sustained
that the country urgently calls for reliable policies.

"Morgan Stanley says inflation is the main factor of risk, although
'there is still time for a soft landing.' Other reports made by BNP
Paribas and Eurasia consulting group are focused on the negative
impact of the confrontation between the Government and the farm
sector.

"Yesterday, the National Statistics Institute reported that the
economic activity grew by 8.1% in March vis-`-vis March 2007 and
1.2% vis-`-vis last February. The figures were questioned by
economists from the private sector who said that the growth rate was
fairly lower."

- "Mistakes"

Hinde Pomeraniec, leading "Clarin's" international columnist, writes
(05/16) "A series of wrong political steps seem to have been taken
in Bolivia. One could notice that in the Morales administration but
much more in the opposition, a diverse and erratic group basically
united by its obsession to overthrow the president. Santa Cruz says
it took one more step yesterday towards its autonomy, although, as a
matter of fact, it is still a local ambition... Regardless of its
ambitions, Santa Cruz will continue having formal and economic
restrictions to obtain its autonomy as long as it is not recognized
in the Constitution.

"Regarding mistakes, a serious mistake is the referendum to revoke
the president, whose only purpose was overthrowing Evo Morales... No
one seems to have noticed that Evo is best positioned to win and,
thus, continue in power. Yesterday's step will only contribute to
dividing the opposition while leaving Santa Cruz isolated rather
than autonomous."

- "Obama's tough reply to Bush's critical statements"

Ana Baron, leading "Clarin's" Washington-based correspondent,
comments (05/16) "It was a good sign of things to come in the
election campaign between Republican John McCain and Barack Obama,
if he gets nominated as expected.

"During the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the creation of
the State of Israel, President Bush, who was visiting the country,
used his address to the Israeli Parliament to criticize those 'who
propose to sit to negotiate with terrorists.' He mentioned no one,
although in the past Obama said that if he wins the US presidency,
his foreign policy will underscore the importance of diplomacy and
he will not hesitate to hold talks with leaders like Iranian Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad and Cuban Raul Castro...

"... Obama quickly answered: 'It is said that President Bush used
his address to the Knesset to make an ungrounded critical statement.
The time has come to turn over the page after eight years of
policies that have strengthened Iran and have not improved US
security or that of our ally Israel. Instead of using tough words
and no action whatsoever, we should do what Kennedy, Nixon and
Reagan did in the past and use all available elements of US power,
including tough diplomacy in order to pressure countries like Iran
and Syria. Bush knows that I have never proposed to sit to negotiate
with terrorists.'

"... Aware of the image as a weak foreign policy leader that the
Republicans are trying to create for him, Barack Obama is determined
not to miss the occasion for a rebuff. Obviously, the best argument
is to compare McCain to Bush, whose popularity ranking is below

30%"

To see more Buenos Aires reporting, visit our
classified website at:
http://www.state.sqov.gov/p/wha/buenosaires

WAYNE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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